Getting a board appointment

There are no announcements for board appointments. One will ask how companies find the people to sit on their boards. Getting a board appointment is all about being identified as an outlier in your respective profession than being invited to apply for the position. This is not a job with specific responsibilities, which when you fail to perform they sack you or subject you to performance improvement. It is an obligation to commit time and resources to provide oversight and when you fail to deliver you risk being sued.

To become a board member, it requires someone who is already an achiever. People are looking for you. Not you looking for them. A board role is not about salary but providing advice based on experience. Anybody to be appointed on any board should demonstrate success. If they are successful, they are noticed in the market.

When a company is looking for employees, or consultant to work with, they have to place adverts in the newspapers for whoever meets the criteria. For a board appointment, people who are already successful by their works are the ones you need on your board. In that case, there is no need to place an advert. You need to go and approach them. They might accept or turn down your board appointment. They are already achievers. If it a lawyer, he has defended and won many cases in the courts of law. For a board appointment, you know the people, but just have to ask them.

If you begin placing adverts to invite board members, you increase the risk of getting mediocre ones on the table.  They don’t have any success story. This is the biggest challenge in government. Board members are appointed based on political affiliation, regional representation or special interest groups. Most of these people end up not having the required skills and experiences to deserve their seat on the table. Some board members are appointed on a government agency and they start asking for a workstation at the company. They begin asking for the same benefits as staff. They were in retirement and did not have what to do. These are tell-tale signs of a wrong board member. Board roles should not be paid for, though it is in order to pay a retainer to facilitate an experienced person’s time to examine your business and provide insights. Look at Board members as highly qualified specialised consultants that provide extra-ordinary value to your business growth. In addition, a facilitate fee for members to attend your meetings is in order.

As they say being a board member is like a doctor in an operating theatre.  Anybody in the theatre must deserve their seat to be there. Someone must be an expert and bring value to the operating theatre otherwise you will be left outside.


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