January 29, 2021

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development.

Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why.

The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants.

The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on.

 Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.

Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? 

First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. 

Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear that first-time board members will drift over the line into management.

If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

How can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

April 1, 2015

How to Land Your First Board of Directors Seat

Many successful executives aspire to serve on an outside board. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, and other times (especially for active CEOs) their own boards encourage sitting on an outside board for professional development. Whatever the motivation, how can you land that first board seat? It’s a lot more difficult than it looks, and a brief consideration of the dynamics of a board search explain why. The board’s nominating committee has formal responsibility for identifying board candidates, but in practice most CEOs direct the selection of new board members with a firm hand. So, consider what the CEO wants. The CEO has two objectives. First is finding a person who will make a meaningful contribution. What that means depends on the needs of the moment. Usually, the board targets a specific set of skills — for one board seat they may look for a financial expert who can serve on the audit committee, for another they may seek someone with commercial expertise, and so on. Second, the CEO wants to avoid recruiting a jerk. Recruiting a disruptive board member is the CEO’s worst nightmare. There are a number of behaviors that can make a board member earn the “jerk” title:

  • Failure to understand the line between governance and management.
  • Pontificating on subjects that are outside of his area of expertise.
  • Antisocial behavior: disrespectful treatment of management and other board members, yelling, and so on.
Caution rules the day. One wrong move and the CEO could end up with a board member who makes life miserable and is almost impossible to get rid of. How does this affect the search for new board members? First, trust matters a lot, which translates into a heavy bias toward candidates the CEO knows, or who are known to a trusted colleague. Second, first time board members are viewed as particularly risky because they haven’t been in a governance role before. There’s a fear first-time board members will drift over the line into management. If you’re seeking your first board of directors seat, the odds are overwhelming that it will come through someone you know. You need to identify opportunities where you’re already known and trusted by some of the key players. It follows that the best strategy for finding a board seat is to talk with all of your closest colleagues. Make sure they know that you are interested in joining a board, and remind them regularly. It will take some time, but this strategy will pay off.

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OmniGuide did a search with Travis & Company for a VP of RA/QA that exceeded my expectations for speed and the quality of candidates presented. I highly recommend him for search at this level.

— Scott Flora, President & CEO, OmniGuide