Why Serve On A Corporate Board?

At Women in the Boardroom, we discuss a lot of the issues and information surrounding board service; the reasons why there aren’t more women serving on corporate boards, branding yourself for board service, why women make great board members, and we also provide valuable techniques, resources, and strategies that c-suite and executive level women need whether they are looking for their 1st, 2nd or 3rd board seat. During these complex times, we felt it important to revisit the very profound but simple question; Why serve on a corporate board?

The below information should help you with your decision:

Intellectual Challenge

Ever heard the saying, “The people around you determine your success?” Having a board seat will expose you to other smart, talented people and challenge you all to work through complex issues that require sharp thinking and deft persuasion. As a director, you’ll learn about industries, products, and services that you may  not have worked in before or be intimately familiar with.

An Enhanced Resume And Reputation

Effective board service involves sophisticated communication skills to influence high-powered peers, enhancing not only your network, but also your reputation as a thought-leader and influencer. Oftentimes, board directors who serve with distinction enjoy access to and recognition from an ever-growing circle of powerful people. As your network grows, so does your motivation to continue to bring the company whose board you’re serving on to the forefront of success. Naturally, All of these skills apply directly back to your day job as well.

A Fulfilling “Second Career”

Some directors serve on boards exclusively, usually after several decades holding management, executive and c-suite level positions. They want to follow a different lifestyle from the day-to-day intensity of an executive job, whether for family, age or other reasons, but still apply their skills in a stimulating way. Although each director might describe the motivation for board service in a different way, nearly all agree that they believe they get more out of every meeting than they give.

It’s Prestigious

Corporate board seats can be scarce, and competition is fierce. But with the right initiative, preparation and guidance, you’ll find yourself being invited to interview. Landing a corporate board seat will signal to your peers that you’re contributing your expertise at the highest level.

Service To Others

As a board director, you’ll be providing guidance and advice to help a company reach its best potential. Good directors get to know the ins and outs of a company, its competitors, they learn about and believe in their products and services, and they carefully guard the interests of stakeholders, helping to maximize that company’s performance. Benefiting the company’s employees and stakeholders is a satisfying way to give back!

Your Time Is Now

Serving on a board will bring you both personal and business benefits. You’ll discover, from an insider’s perspective, how a company conducts business while sitting at the table with extremely smart people from different backgrounds, learning how they approach business, influence decisions, and communicate. And that’s an amazing privilege because having access to this type of knowledge can benefit you by translating well to your career and your current role.

If you’re interested in continuing the conversation, Reach out to me directly!

Sheila Ronning, Founder, Women in the Boardroom.

Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi