Executive Board Director

So You Want To Be a Board Director

Hello and welcome to another Tuesdays at two, where once a week I share my knowledge on executive career management. For you, the viewer, and the people who watch it as a repeat. Each week is a different topic. And I want you to participate. So I would encourage you to ask comments, put in the comments, ask questions.

Doesn’t have to be related to particular topic of today. It could be related to anything that’s on your mind to do with executive career management, personal branding, your resume, your CV cover letters, how to introduce yourself to recruiters. The list goes on, on, on, on. This is episode number 114. And today’s is a topic, is a very relevant topic.

I want to become a board director. I want to become a board director. Now, lots of people want to become board director, especially at the latter end of their career because it’s they can share their knowledge. It’s a little bit of fun and they can give back to their, their companies or other companies and share their knowledge that they’ve accrued over many, many.

What is interesting in the last few years since the advent of covid is that there has been a shortage, a shortage of board directors. Why is because at the beginning of Covid, Many board directors, they didn’t know it was gonna last two, two and a half years, I guess close to three years. They resigned on mass and that created a panic within the recruiting market.

The board director recruiting market, well, they were short on talent. So I was asked by executive recruiters to help source some talent. I did some of my own clients and I saw some others, but they’re still short. They’re still back filling. So if you are wanting to be a board director and you have all the criteria, There’s no reason why you can’t jump on the bandwagon now and take advantage of that that gap in the market where there is want the people want their, or executive recruiters and corporate world want your talent.

Now it’s by nature a a very mature function. You can’t just jump into becoming a board director, especially of a corporate board because you have to have that background of be a, working extensively in a corporate area. So it’s a mature profession, a mature function. However, another way to get in at.

Younger level is to either volunteer in a charity or a non pro non-for-profit. Something that may be disease related to, you know, cancer or liver foundation or or heart and stroke or whatever, or something that’s related to your community. Could be your church, could be. Community. Could be your sports, could be your golf club, could be your hockey club, or your team or whatever.

So you can jump in the bandwagon at the lower level, at the younger age when you want to and get your feet wet. And then learn about becoming board directors because there’s many different criteria that you need to have. Now, anybody’s got any comments? Please put them in the comments below and then there’s my email.

And welcome. Any questions? I’m here for you, not just for me. I’m here for you to share my knowledge each week at uh, Tuesdays at two. So what is the function? What is the responsibilities of a board director since. Enron and various other big well known bankruptcies in 2008 to 2010, 2011, the job has become more onerous.

There’s more governance, there’s more authority and accountability. And it’s not a breeze, but it is fun and you can share your knowledge about your sharing your knowledge about you gained in, in the corporate world where in another particular company, within your own industry or outside your industry.

So board meetings, what you have to do as obviously you have to temper board meetings. Now each company. Is totally different. It could be once a month, it could be twice a month or once every six weeks. Now you can be become a board director. I’m here in Canada, so let’s use the geography of Canada as an example.

You could be a board director in Vancouver. But live in Toronto and then commute twice a month or once a month out to Vancouver, which is something like a, a five hour flight. Or you could go to Halifax. There are lots of international appointments as well, so you can live your mobile and you wanna travel.

You could do that maybe once or twice a month. So you have to sit on the board meetings. You have to attend the board meetings. You also have committee works. Now the board is divided up into various committees. The audit committee, the human resource committee, the finance committee, the governance committee, the list goes on and each.

Corporate is a different has a different number of committees. Some people are on three committees. Some people are on two committees. Some people are on one committee. Especially if you go, you are new, you go on maybe one and then go up to two and then go up to three. So a board director can be very, Very pleasing.

It makes you feel as if you are giving back. And of course in corporate world they are paid and now the pay isn’t as great as it would be if you are a corporate executive. But it’s quite good pay and you know many people when they retire totally they do two or three or even four boards and that makes more than.

Previous corporate earnings. So you have to attend board meetings, you have to go on committees, you set the company vision, the mission, you vote to elect and re-elect your peers. You also are play a pivotal role in the recruitment of the C-Suite team. So if the c e o resigns or retires or whatever, then you have to be part of that search committee, probably with an executive search com.

Doing the original recruitment and narrowing it down for you, the board to consider the final candidates. So votes you vote on the, your peers in the board and also the C-suite team. And sometimes the next level down. You also have to Follow various policies for board oversight and there’s a lot of governance.

Yeah. So there’s a lot of accountability, responsibility. You just can’t walk into it and think it’s going to be a breeze. So I think we’ve got a question here. So let me just put my glasses on. So Vince May, if I take a co, as I did put this onto the, The main board, if I take a course on how to be a board director from one of the accredited schools, will that boost my potential as a candidate?

I’m told it is a good thing, but is it necessary like anything? Vince, good to hear from you. Yes, it is. It enhances your candidacy. Definitely without doubt, I could tell you without doubt. So there are many, there’s three main ones that I know here in Canada, and there are many global ones as well, but any one of those were the I C D from Rotman School of Management in Toronto, university of Toronto, or the C D I R from.

From Deru Business School McMaster in Hamilton, or then there is the competent boards, which is which is gaining a lot of traction. I would suggest if you’re doing your due diligence, Vince, look@competentboards.com. And they are also very advanced into E C G E S G and many other things that society and corporate world are looking for right now.

[00:09:11] I’ve had several of my clients go through that program and they say it is wow. And I actually know he, who’s the the founder and the c e o of that program. So there’s three C D I. The I C D and the competent boards, and you get a designation after your name. So yes Vince, to answer your question, it’s like anything.

The more education you take, the more you elevate your impact and the wow factor when you go for recruitment. So I would suggest. That you make an investment in one of those programs, the competent boards is a lot cheaper than the two others, but it’s got just as much clout. So, and it’s gaining a lot of traction with uh, people who are decision makers, whether they be in the corporate world, or not-for-profit world, and also an executive recruiter.

So yeah, I would say yeah. Yes, you’ve got to do. That does really elevate your, your stature, your impact, your candidacy. So you have to follow policies for board oversight. You make decisions on company policies, so in participation, in collaboration with the with the C-suite, the senior executive team during the collusion with them, and you, you work in.

Participation with them to make the business decisions. You review the activities, you review the performance, and if the performance isn’t up to what you as a board set, then obviously some people have to be accountable. And the C-suite are probably called into the meeting and asked why things aren’t la aren’t performing very well.

And the risk the. Things are lagging or whatever. So yeah, you, you ha it is quite an interesting job. It’s different from definitely from a corporate job, but it is an eye opener and you can put all your corporate experience. Back into another company, maybe in the same industry or in another industry.

So the three pillars. The three pillars, and I know Vince, I’ve worked with you, I know you have all these elements, the three pillars that people look for when they’re are hiring an a potential board director, r, risk management, corporate governance. And audit. Now, any type of audit can be a financial audit.

It can be an operational audit, can be other types of audits. So let’s go through those three pillars. Risk management. Corporate governance and our audit, but the skills you need to have, the more of the, the, the soft skills, not the hard skills. Those are the hard skills. The business skills are good communications because you have to have tact and diplomacy, so you have to be a very good communicator, articulate.

You have to have the critical think. So that’s very, very important. Of course, you have to have the business acumen, so not just maybe within one function, but maybe across multiple functions. So the business acumen, you have to learn to collaborate because it’s not just a one man show. You are a team.

Experts assisting the C-suite, run the company, manage the company, advance the company, push the company forward or whatever, make making key decisions. You also have to have leadership responsibility, and I know you’ve got that as well. So those are the three hard skills are risk management, corporate governances, and audit.

And the soft skills for a board director are communi. Critical thinking, business acumen, collaboration, and leadership. So as I alluded to early on in this, Tuesdays at two, Anybody got any other questions, please put them in. That was a great question. Thank you very much, Vince. As I alluded to earlier on, the best way to start really is to get your feet wet in a not for profit.

Now that can be, As I said, something like in, in disease related, something in the health. So heart and stroke, arthritis, liver, kidney, foundation, other, and there are many other foundations. There are community foundations. That’s a great way to, many of them have lots of millions in assets, sub under, under administration.

And then there’s all sorts of other not-for-profits, sports related and many clubs and associations, even your industry. They have a board of directors, your, you know, the pmp, they have a board of directors, so you need to think about maybe putting your name forward in your own industry, because what does that bring you?

It brings you a lot of press, a lot of value. People look up to you within your industry, and of course you can put that on your resume, your corporate resume. So a start off in a maybe a not-for-profit, what does the benefit of not-for-profit bring? Well, it makes you, it helps the community or the sports team or whatever, a better place you help the heart and stroke or the arthritis society.

You meet like-minded people. So that’s just as important. And you build your network. You need to network all the time from the day you start your career to the day you pack it in at the other end, whether it be at the end of a corporate career or corporate, then board career. So networking brings huge value to you, and also you can share your network.

And then it also expands your skillset. So you are gonna learn some new skills. You think when you are at a board director, when you are at a C-suite or a vice president level, very high up in corporate world, you think you know everything. Nobody knows everything and you are always going to learn. So you’re gonna sharpen your skillset.

It also raises your professional profile, especially if you do something within your industry. You are. And that advances your skillset because when somebody’s looking for talent, they say, oh, hi. Yeah. At the at the, at, at the annual conference, I met Joe and he is the secretary of our association.

He will be an ideal candidate. So you are gonna expand your network and you’re gonna raise your professional profile in your organization or your. Now a board director resume. So Vince has come back again. Let me just ask, see what’s Vince got.

So another question from Vince, which is really good. How strong does my LinkedIn profile have to be? Most of my volunteer work seems trivial when I consider a role on an organization such as United Way. I can’t remember exactly Vince, your profile and your history in your volunteer work. Every volunteer work builds up.

It counts towards your candidacy. If you want to go to the United Way, which I believe probably is a very sought after position, but very worthy, but could be quite somewhat onerous I would suggest that your LinkedIn profile. Has to be, well, it doesn’t matter where you’re gonna go, whether you’re gonna stay in the corporate world, or whether you’re gonna go into a not-for-profit, or whether you’re gonna go into corporate boards or any other function.

First thing anybody looks at is your LinkedIn profile, so you need to wow them. You need to have a fully, fully complete LinkedIn profile. More than happy to give anybody, anybody listening to this today, a free, no obligation LinkedIn audit. So I’m more than happy to give that. So I’m gonna set, share my, there’s my email.

Anybody wants to send me an email and say, Martin, I would like a free, no obligation LinkedIn audit. Or you may be wanting a resume critique CB critique. I’m more than happy to do that. 30 minutes of my time I give it, I go through it and I go through it from top to bottom. But I do say it as it is. So, Vince, I hope that’s answered your question.

LinkedIn profile is, you’ve gotta have a LinkedIn profile. Anyway, let’s, let’s it doesn’t matter whether you are I board director or corporate or you’re just doing an entrepreneurship you people are first thing they look at is your LinkedIn profile. You’ve got to be stellar. You’ve got to sell em straight away.

You’ve gotta have that wow factor. So kind of towards the end of this, two, two tips here for. You can’t use your corporate resume if you are thinking about becoming a board director. A board director resume is a totally different document from a corporate resume. Why is Because it focuses on those three pillars that I just mentioned earlier on risk management, corporate governance, and audit.

But with some of your other performance highlights, your stories as well. It’s a totally different design format and totally different content. So a board resume is a totally different document, so I’m more than happy to to help anybody discuss a board resume. I’ve written lots of board resumes, especially since the beginning of covid, I’ve probably written hmm, 80 or 19, maybe more than that.

So a board resume is a totally different document to a corporate resume. So you’ve got to have a board director resume. Now, how do you go about sourcing these? Well, if it’s your local not-for-profit or whatever, you put your name forward or your industry, you can put your name forward. But if you are going to the corporate world, the bulk of the recruitment in, in for board directors in the corporate world is done through executive recruiters.

And there are executive recruiters who specialize in nothing else but board directors. They’re all say executive recruiters who specialize in other functions plus a board director. But you need to get on their radar. You need to get on the the executive recruiter’s radar. They might not have a, a position for you right now or project as they.

But they might won’t have one in March, April, may, or maybe even later on in the year. But the trick is you need to get on their radar. If you want to find out how to get on their radar, go to my YouTube channel. And look at the various videos on my YouTube channel, and there are ways, there are videos on how to introduce yourself, get in through the back door, get in through the side door, get on a warm lead or hot lead.

There’s many different ways to get an introduction to an executive recruiter and get on their database. So go to my YouTube channel and please press the subscribe button and then when you, and, and also the bell button, when you will be notified of all future videos to come. So there are quite a few videos and if you want me to shoot something on a, a particular topic, a video for you that something’s on the back of your mind, on the front of your mind, I’m more than happy to shoot a video and put it on my YouTube channel in the next few weeks.

So executive recruit. Specialize. There are special specialization in specialists in board directors. So I hope that’s helped you. Anybody thinking, contemplating about becoming a board director, clarify the ins and outs of a board director. It can be fun. It can also be a slog at particular times, especially if there’s some core pro governance or risk or audit problems, but that’s what you focus.

[00:21:22] But it’s also fun and as I say, opens up network and it re, it enhances your skillset and you will learn a lot as a board director. So some people do it in combination with their full-time corporate job at the end, latter end of their career. And they get permission from their. Or their chair of their board to go and sit on another board.

So that’s what that’s what it’s all about. I would, as a career coach, as an executive coach, I would encourage you if you have the drive, the willpower and those three pillars and a lot of other assets and attributes, skill sets, I would really encourage you to think about a board director. So hopefully that’s clarified all this misdemeanor about mystery, about board directors.

There is a, a lot of availability right now. I know, I know there’s a couple of executive recruiters have been looking for talent and in particular industries. So they’ve been buzzing me and so I’m more than happy to have a conversation with anybody. Just put, send me an email and I’m more than happy to pick up the phone or go on Zoom.

So I offer a free, no obligation resume or a CV critique, 30 minutes of my time. And I offer that LinkedIn audit for another 30 minutes. But I go right from top to bottom because you never miss out on a LinkedIn. It’s can bring you huge. Huge clout and it increases your profile, your impact with executive recruiters.

And please go and visit my YouTube channel. And do me a favor, please press the subscribe button where you will be notified of of many videos to to come the press the bell button, please. So that belt closes this Tuesdays at two. Anybody got any? Questions, something that’s bugging them.

Some of any other questions, I’m more than happy to take it. If not, I will be back next week. Now, I normally. Wrap this Tuesday’s at two by saying what I’m gonna be talking about next week. I’m gonna keep that secret. So that will be episode number one fifteen one hundred and fifteen. I’m gonna keep that secret and join me next Tuesday, 2:00 PM Eastern Time for another Tuesday’s at two.

In the meantime, you should all be managing your career. 24 7 365. So hopefully you are aware that your career management is just as important as your financial management, managing your your finances, your investments, because the more you manage your career, the more you can give your financial advisor.

So I’m gonna wrap it up right now. I will see you next Tuesday at two Eastern Time. My name is Martin Buckland and I’m more than happy to help you have my email there, and I will see you next Tuesday at 2:00 PM.

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