Personal Board of Directors

I had the great fortune a few years ago to attend multiple Women in Business luncheons. Each of these talks helped me in many ways, but I’ve found one talk to be particularly beneficial to myself and my clients. The talk was given by Agenia Clark, current CEO and president of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee.

Mrs. Clark spoke to the room about the importance of developing a “personal board of directors.” Much like a board of directors advises business leaders in important decisions regarding the company’s future, a personal board of directors assists an individual in staying true to themselves, guides them in making tough decisions, and gives them support in times of need.

There are eight spots in a personal board of directors, each with a specific purpose. Below are the descriptions for each of the eight positions on the board:

  1. Faith: Is there someone in your life who helps you feel more connected to your spirituality? If so, this is the seat they would fill. Examples for this position include spiritual leader, pastor, fellow church member, etc.
  2. Good Friend: This spot is for that close friend who knows you at your core. Who laughs with you, cries with you, celebrates with you, and supports you in your struggles. Think Joey and Chandler from Friends.
  3. Health & Wellness: Who inspires you to stay healthy? A yoga instructor? Personal trainer? Health-conscious friend? This place at the table is for someone who helps you stay healthy and balanced.
  4. Financial Planner: How are your finances? Do you have investments? Or do you live paycheck to paycheck? What are your financial goals? This seat belongs to anyone who helps keep your finances in order, such as a personal banker or portfolio manager.
  5. Family: What family member is always there for you? This is a seat for your spouse, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, etc. that supports you and encourages you.
  6. Personal Coach: This seat is for that person who challenges you and helps you grow. Therapists, life coaches, even mentors may fill this seat at the table.
  7. Sponsor: Clark said everyone needs a sponsor in their careers. Do you have one? If not, think about who has been influential or inspiring in your career. Ask them out to lunch and get to know them. Build a relationship that gives them a seat at your directors table.
  8. Constant Learner: This seat is for the person that inspires you and keeps you growing. “How are you constantly learning?”.
    Your board of directors will likely change over time. People will move in and out of seats, and maybe even change positions. The important point to remember is that your board of directors is there for you, so choose wisely. Who will be on your board?

    Message from the author:

    Cassie Broll would like to thank Mrs. Clark for her permission and assistance with this blog post.