Am I Qualified to Serve on a Board?

05 Jun

Being qualified to serve on a Board of Directors or Board of Advisors is a common question along with “How can I get on a Board?”

Am I Qualified to Serve on a Board?This is a very subjective topic but there are several characteristics that I see in people selected to serve on boards. First off it is easier to qualify to serve on a Board of Advisors because you are only advising and have no legal responsibilities plus BOA’s are usually looking for a specific experience rather than multiple ones for a BOD.

Keys to being selected for a Board are:

  1. Senior level executive experience. Ideally if you are a CEO/COO or General Manager with both P&L plus operational responsibilities you will bring a greater breadth and depth of experience to the board you are on.
  2. Have something unique in your background that is key for the Board you would be joining. This could be operational like successfully implementing LEAN in multiple plants around the world or lead the expansion in SE Asia. Alternatively it could be functional like Sales/Distribution or Finance/Audit.
  3. A natural curiosity to go deep to study the company/industry whose board you serve on to understand before you advise.
  4. Ability to separate yourself from your current role and be an advisor without crossing the line and try and run the company who you are serving.
  5. Have strong convictions balanced with an open mind to collaborate with fellow board members and management for the best outcomes.

To serve on a board is an honor and a privilege but it is also work and you must be committed to help the most.