President & CEO, Ide Energy & Strategy
VIP Member, Women in the Boardroom
Board Director, Big Sky Chamber of Commerce
Former Chair, Board of Directors PCS Edventures
Interview by Angela Leaney, Women In The Boardroom
Britt’s keys to success:
- Joining a board means joining a team. Effective board directors must display excellent interpersonal communication skills as a member of the team.
- Be ready to step outside your comfort zone, and see this as a learning experience.
- The journey to the boardroom is that – a journey. Embrace feedback, be flexible, and be persistent.
Britt, what characteristic do you believe was the critical factor in your successful candidacy for your first board appointment?
Passion for the business.
What has surprised you about the reality of board service versus the expectations that you had coming in?
I have loved the challenging strategic discussions. Personal dynamics between board members are a major part of board work and can be difficult at times.
What have you learned about yourself through serving as a corporate board director – how have you grown?
As a director, you are called upon for expertise and advice on all areas of business, even areas where you don’t have deep experience. By listening to others and reading a lot, I have been able to strengthen new areas and build confidence. I have learned that I have a lot to offer from my unique background, personality and perspective.
Who is your role model as a board director and why?
My role models have been those board members (men and women) who encourage others, who are extremely prepared for board meetings and who truly connect with all employees.
What is the ONE essential piece of advice you’d give to other senior executive women who are on a journey to their first seat at the table?
Stay patient and resilient. The Board search process can be long and frustrating. Keep confidence in yourself and your abilities and what you are looking for. Make sure to listen carefully to advice and constructive criticism. Know that the right board work will come if you stay focused on excellent performance where you are now, building your networks and asking for help (ideas, introductions, recommendations).
Britt Ide is CEO of Ide Energy & Strategy, an interdisciplinary consulting firm focused on energy & sustainability. Ide Energy helps businesses, leaders and boards resolve disputes with negotiation, mediation & facilitation, connect people & ideas across organizations, perspectives & geographies and strategize collaboratively to create solutions. Check them out here.
Views From The Boardroom is an exclusive series from Women In The Boardroom, where corporate board directors share their experience, insight and wisdom and their view from the boardroom. Corporate board directors interested in participating should email firstname.lastname@example.org