It’s time that I start taking my own advice.
I counsel my mentees to take risks and explore new opportunities but when it comes to me, I often hesitate. Well, I’ve decided that it’s time I become comfortable with taking the big leaps. I’ve been taking small steps for years now.
This story started a few months ago when Linda Bolliger and I connected on Linkedin. She reached out to me after noticing that we have more than 90 mutual connections between our networks. After a few exchanges, Linda asked to chat with me about the Boardroom Bound program, of which she is the Founder, Chief Visionary Officer and Chair.
During our conversation, Linda mentioned that she thought I would be a good fit for the Boardology™ Institute / Pipeline Seminar©. The goal is for me to learn how to translate my non-profit board experience to the business boardroom with the right kind of preparation and individualized action plan. To be honest, I was more focused on becoming a stronger non-profit Board member, but I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the nature of corporate Boards which I had not considered at the time.
The workshop is this Thursday and Friday, October 17th and 18th. While doing some pre-work for the session, I started to have doubts and sent Linda the following email:
I finally completed my class prep but as I did, I realized that I may not be ready. My concern is that it appears as though I need to be better connected, further along in my career and more intentional about corporate Board membership. To be honest, I never considered being on business Boards. I don’t want to be an outlier that is simply distracting to the class.
What do you think?
To this, Linda replied:
No worries. I wish everyone who began the Pre-Work were as conscientious as you in questioning their readiness. Just look forward to learning everything you can because A) boardroom diversity requires people just like you to be ready when the time becomes “right” (when luck coincides with opportunity), and B) The people we prefer to come through the program are those who volunteer on the non-profit side of governance (like you) who can more easily make the transition to for-profit board service because you don’t have your sights set on serving on a publicly traded board of directors.
Instead, there are literally thousands of private business and corporate advisory boards that remunerate their members. I already know this is where you fit because that’s my job.
Others more advanced than you right now still have to attain experience at the private & advisory board level in order to build a Resume that justifies being able to interview for a publicly traded company board slot.
Please trust me on this and I’ll see you Friday when I present around 1pm.
Because this blog is about sharing my personal and professional development experiences, I asked Linda if she would be okay with me sharing our correspondence. She agreed and sent this follow-up:
I would encourage you to write about it for three reasons:
1. Sharing experiences is valuable for both the writer (you) & the readers (them)
2. Since I just contracted to write the book on how individuals in the diversity aggregate “lean-out” (thank you for presenting me with a true life story I can use, with your permission)
3. It’s a 3-way Win: You, Them & Me.
Hey, maybe even Boardroom Bound, which would make it a 4-way Win.
Aren’t you just something,
LindaB : )
So, thanks to Linda and each of you who read my blog, share my writings and your own experiences. That’s how we all learn and grow. As Linda says,”boardroom diversity requires people just like you to be ready when the time becomes “right” (when luck coincides with opportunity)”.
Always, Always, Always Show Up (HBR Blog)
- The Opposite of ‘Defenseless’ (Seth Godin Blog)
- How do great leaders get great confidence? (Smart Blog on Leadership)
Categories: Professional Development