The following is an excerpt from our recent guide “From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Board Search tips for EMBA/MBA Students and Graduates”
If you’re ready to embark on your first board seat search, there has never been a better time for first-time board members to take their seat at the table. As an MBA/EMBA graduate or student, having a well-thought-out strategy in place will put you on the path to success. The first step is making sure you have the right set of skills:
As a board member, you’ll have the responsibility of providing insight into potential vulnerabilities, opportunities, and how to stimulate growth for the company. You must be able to recognize whether the company is headed in the right strategic direction, and if not, how to get back on track.
Being able to talk in numbers is now a fundamental skill for board directors. Think financial gearing, the sustainability of cash flows etc. This doesn’t mean you have to have CFO experience under your belt but being able to interpret financial data, ask smart questions, and using those insights to recognize what is and isn’t working in the business is key
COVID-19 has accelerated companies’ digital communications strategies by an average of six years. This has caused a major shift in the role of the board director, who must now be able to understand the digital ecosystem. If you are in a functional area that does not get exposed to the digital side of things, you need to proactively become knowledgeable in that area. You may consider using your network to learn from your connections who do have these skills.
Being a Team Player
Recruiters want you to show that you are the type of leader who is willing to put aside differences and work as a unit with the other board members to best serve the organization. While they want leaders that will ask the tough questions and engage in important debates, it is crucial to have a group of board members, who listen as often as they speak and actively learn from each other, particularly as each board member will bring a unique skill set and approach to business challenges and opportunities.
Click here to download the full guide “From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Board Search tips for EMBA/MBA Students and Graduates”