How to Get a Seat on the Board

Positioning Yourself for the Top Table

How to Get a Seat on the Board

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Is aiming for a seat on the board right for you and your career?

When you look ahead five, 10 or even 20 years, where do you see yourself?

Are you still doing the same job, at the same desk, with the same people and problems? Or, are you sitting in a plush leather chair, at a long, polished table, skillfully debating what direction your organization should take in the next quarter? Admittedly, this is a stereotype but, if you have ambitions to join a board, you've probably imagined your own boardroom scenario.

A seat on the board can seem like a fantasy to some people. Even today, some boards are shrouded in mystery. People often think of them as a private club that only white, late-career men can join. However, the good news is that this is changing. Boardrooms are still difficult to gain access to, but they are becoming more diverse and skills-oriented, and people with the right ambition, talent and experience can get a seat in one.

Getting a seat on the board can seem like a distant prospect when you're mid-career, but this is often the ideal time to start preparing. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of getting a seat on the board, how you can decide whether it's the right move for you, and how you can start preparing for it if it is.

Note:

Organizations take a great deal of care with board appointments, and there's no guarantee that you'll be invited to join, even if you have the drive, skills and experience. However, aiming to get a seat on the board will help you improve your skills and demonstrate your ambition, and will give you the best chance of success in your professional life.

What Do Boards Do?

When someone talks about "the board," he or she is usually referring an organization's board of directors....

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