Building a successful career requires a well-managed, proactive approach to both personal and professional development. Board service, either on a board of directors or an advisory board, is one of the most advantageous and effective ways to foster this development.
Adding a board or advisory role to your resume sends a strong signal to any future employer, investor, business partner or potential collaborator that you’re capable of taking on new challenges and responsibilities. Not only are you a top executive at your own company, but you possess the right skills and talent that make you a valuable asset in helping another company succeed. Often, serving on a board symbolizes a coveted leadership status that makes someone a more attractive candidate and could play a major factor in landing a new job or opportunity down the road.
Board opportunities can come in a variety of forms, yet the benefits are universal. Here are four key advantages to sitting on a board.
Board service is also an opportunity to develop new skills while fine-tuning your leadership strategy. Many times, executives serve on boards outside their industry, broadening their understanding of different fields and markets. Holding a board position offers exposure to various leadership styles, from the company’s CEO to fellow board members, and allows executives to see corporate issues from a board-level perspective that help executives evaluate and handle their own company’s challenges. Scenarios faced in the boardrooms equips you with unique knowledge beyond your own occupation to improve critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Advisory boards and boards of directors attract talented, experienced executives; the type of people you should have (and want) in your network. Being part of a board introduces you to other successful, like-minded people you may otherwise never meet. These people can open the door to future professional opportunities, connect you with a larger circle of contacts or even add benefit to your personal life. The future is uncertain, so having a large network could pay-off in the long run.
Harvard Business Review conducted a recent study to find whether or not board service increased an executive’s likelihood of becoming a CEO, being promoted or receiving a salary increase. According to their research, serving on a board increases the likelihood of “being promoted as a first-time CEO to an S&P 1500 firm by 44%,” and even if they weren’t promoted, “serving boosts an executive’s subsequent annual pay by 13%.”
Regardless of which stage your career is in, these benefits are the key to creating a successful and rewarding professional journey.
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