How to get onto a Board

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by patrickBOOTH, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I might be able to work something out because these particular events are industry related. Others I wouldn't mind taking vacation days for.
     


  2. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Why do you say that?
     


  3. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Because I am more awesome than most people?
     


  4. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    :eh:

    Reach out to JCPenney. They need someone like you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013


  5. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    What an interesting question. How old are you, by the way, and could you give any better clue as to the industry you're in?

    "Board" is a pretty broad term in some places, and I'm taking a wild guess that you want to be as close as possible to long, bespoke oaken tables, and a little further away from what might more accurately be described as a "members' committee". Either way, I don't think what you want to do is unrealistic. but a few things from my own experience:

    - Boards in the real sense, i.e. groups of directors of large, accountable organisations, are conservative. Not necessarily in confining themselves exclusively to black shoes, but in the choice of new members they will seek: they seek people they think are like them. Every board member, and every chairman in particular, wants an ally. Nepotism, possibly. but more likely just people who look and walk and talk like them. Or happen to be members of the same golf club. Personally I make a strong mental association between golf and prostate cancer. I will likely never join the board of a S&P 500 company.

    - Boards of NGOs are, as others have observed, focused on fund-raising. Unless you're an accountant and theirs dies, or unless their field of work happens to take place in your specific area of technical expertise, they will never need you for you. They will need you because you know rich, kind people and can part those people from their children's inheritance.

    - Strategic planning is impossible to sell as a skill in itself. I feel your pain. I have been negotiating a consultancy on strategic planning for the last four months, with an organisation that exists solely and in name, to undertake strategic planning. They are yet to be convinced that they need to undertake any strategic planning. You get my drift. So find something specific to sell. If it's not fundraising and it's not specific, you might have to look at a different kind of board:

    - Little boards can lead to bigger boards. It can become a bit of a club - remember that "look and walk and talk like them" thing? If someone on your little board is also on a big board, they might want to bring you along to the big boys' club as an ally.

    - So find a board that isn't so glamorous. You don't have to donate money, but you can donate time. Get involved with a small-scale local charity, your local school, church, shoe appreciation society. Or even start one. The other advantage with these small, local or new entities is that because they don't pay, they're mostly run by people who have other commitments to pay the rent i.e. jobs: this means they meet in the evening or at weekends, and try not to get in the way of people's other lives.

    I've been on various committees, boards and councils through work, both in-house and for broader community things e.g. boards of governors for a couple of schools, also clubs and social committees. Some are things I've kept on my CV, others not. But all of them have given me something, so I think you're idea's a great one. Just don't think you have to be the Hudsucker Proxy to get anything out of it. Sitting in, shutting up until you understand, learning and helping a small group or community organisation, is productive and worthwhile. And especially given your grey socks and black shoes and technical background, a bit of human colour might be just what your life story needs to balance up your CV.

    Good luck - do let us know how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013


  6. NMW1982

    NMW1982 Senior member

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    Let's be honest. You just want to be on a board so you can say to all your friends that you're on a board. Why put up fronts? It's like saying I drive a fire red Lamborghini not because I want to attract attention or anything, but because I like the interior design of the car. Yeah, ok. :happy:
     


  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Some great advise and observations. Thank you.



    Who said I was putting up a front. Of course I want bragging rights.



    I can get onto the board of my condominium fairly easily. Is this resume material?
     


  8. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    You realize you are on a clothing forum, right?
     


  9. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Surely you jest!!!
    :rotflmao:
     


  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, I don't. Should I take "Oenophile" off of my resume as well? :confused:
     


  11. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Not if the hiring person is a relative...
     


  12. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    FWIW my CEO is on a board as part of a local chapter under a nationally recognized organization.

    I write all his president messages and dislike it very much only because I have no involvement in the board/organization he is partaking in. The result is me being pretty clueless and I end up getting a list of random things, and then write a bunch of BS and drivel.

    Can I also say in my resume I was part of a board?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013


  13. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    No.
    But you can say that you have experience being a CEOs bitch.....
     


  14. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    Thank you.

    :lol:
     


  15. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Is there an upside to being on a condo board? I assume Board members are targets for blame whether or not they are actually responsible. And unlike co-op boards, don't actually wield real power.
     


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