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Do You Have Your Own Personal Board of Directors?

We become like the people we spend time with.   It’s the age-old truth that we our parents drilled into us and we, in turn, attempted to drill into our own children.  We must hang around the right “reference group” in order to stay on the right track.

As corporate and community leaders, it is important to refer back to this sage advice.  A good business associate will tell you when you are about to walk into the lion’s den or when you are about to walk off of a cliff.  And the good news is that you don’t have to hold regularly scheduled meetings of everyone.  This board you put together exists not on paper but exists in friendships, phone calls, and lunch meetings.

You should have a trusted friend in each area of your professional and personal life.  Some examples:

  • A friend whom you can trust with confidential and personal matters
  • A friend with whom you can bounce around investment ideas
  • A friend who is savvy around tax and accounting matters
  • A friend or two who own small businesses
  • A friend who understands the importance of human relation skills (EQ)
  • A friend who is spiritually grounded
  • A friend who has a good understanding of legal issues
  • A friend with open ears and a closed mouth
  • A friend who will open their mouth when you are about to walk into traffic
  • A friend who will ask you the hard questions

Some of your board members will be friends.  But it is important that you not only choose those who are close to you personally.  Personal friends won’t always deliver bad news when you need it the most.  Yes, right before you walk into traffic.

There is one caveat.  You need to expect to return the favor.  It’s what makes the world go ‘round.

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Judy W Bell

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