When I started to develop an interest in leadership within a nonprofit I was involved with, I was encouraged to choose four men to act as my “court (as an international men’s organization, we were encouraged to choose men for our court).”
The idea of a court comes from medieval times. A king would point Dukes and other Royals to be advisors to them.
As we’ve seen too often in movies and plays, being a royal court member carried a certain amount of intrigue as people jockeyed for position with the monarch.
In business, there is a Board of Directors who are external advisors to an organization’s leadership.
Although elected by shareholders, a committee controlled by the company’s president selects the individual board members. They then recommend them to the shareholders.
The board and the president will meet regularly to discuss recent decisions and other issues relevant to the organization’s health and success. They are paid a fee for their service.
You can establish a Board of Directors for yourself. These trusted advisors are there to serve you as outside supporters.
Support can be in the form of delivering complex messages to you.
Support can take the form of affirming past decisions and proposing changes going forward.
As a career coach would do, a good Board member recognizes your blind spots and encourages you to address them.
As important as that, your Board of Directors are people that you can lower your guard with and trust they have your best interests at heart.
Choosing a personal Board of Directors is one of the smartest things you can do as you develop in your career.
It’s also one of the best things that you can do to improve your life.
If you are young, make sure one of them is significantly older. These people should have different experiences than those who are “generationally similar” to you that you should hear.
You don’t need to act on everything that you told.
It’s important to hear it because it offers a different perspective.
Don’t think of them as friends; they are advisors. There is a difference.
No matter where you are in your profession or life, it is essential to have people you trust around you to go to regularly for advice.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.
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