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A Personal Board of Directors

November 1, 2010

Startup Tip #11

Entrepreneurs are familiar with boards of directors and the value of a great board. Founders also know about the importance of mentors. But, other than a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, many founders are unaware of the benefits that can be derived from a personal board of directors.

Several years ago, I brought together my trusted mentors as a personal board. I organized this group like a corporate board with a chairperson, scheduled meetings, an annual meeting, minutes and resolutions. This path was taken for several reasons: (1) I felt my mentors could be more effective working together; (2) I knew I could be more organized and productive with a personal board that held me accountable; and (3) I thought the team approach would make my life better (and by analogy, improve my personal and professional endeavors).

The rationale and reasons for this board proved true and my personal board has created invaluable benefits. My board was organized formally, because I felt I needed structure and a level of seriousness to accomplish my goals. In the HBR article, the author advocates a less structured personal board. Either approach is valid. Which direction to go is a personal decision based on your individual goals and circumstances.

Not everyone needs a personal board of directors, but I have found it to be very worthwhile. Through operation of this board, I have grown closer to the mentors and friends who comprise my board.  Think about implementing your own personal board, because it may make a huge difference in accomplishing goals and achieving success.

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