Succeeding in Your First 90 Days with Your Own Personal Board of Directors


Barbara A. F. Greene, CEO
Career Partners International – San Antonio / Greene and Associates, Inc.

Q: Do you have any special tips to help me (an executive) succeed in my first 90 days?

A: Appoint a personal board of directors. Many executives feel they should be self-sufficient and succeed completely on their own. However, the wisest individuals achieve success by benefiting from the advice of others. Your own personal board of directors can give you a huge boost in succeeding in your first 90 days on a new job and beyond.

When you look at any corporate board, you find a variety of talents and skills. Just as a company benefits from experts, so will you. Surround yourself with people who have skill sets and personalities different from yours.

You will experience many benefits from a personal board of directors.

  • Receive advice from individuals who have specialized knowledge and/or business experience you don't have.
  • Acquire perspectives of how they see you leading yourself and others.
  • Accelerate introductions to other key stakeholders in your development.
  • Gain encouragement, support, and feedback from other professionals who want to see you succeed.

Members of your board of directors will receive a different set of benefits.

  • Expand their relationships.
  • Expedite their knowledge of other areas within the organization or the community.
  • Improve their strategic and political acumen.
  • Fast-track another person in achieving their goals.

Choosing the right members of your board of directors and approaching them properly will lead to success.

  • Identify people you admire inside and outside your organization. These advisors are people with important connections and those who want to see you succeed.
  • Let the person know that you respect and admire them.
  • Explain what you would like the person to do to help you transition into your new position and to succeed in the job.
  • Use your board to provide guidance about professional image and presence, to expose you to valuable connections, and to introduce you to the corporate culture.
  • Manage the advisor-protégé relationship thoughtfully. Most advisors are happy to provide guidance to a protégé who is eager to learn and uses the advisor’s time well.
  • Express gratitude to your advisors and offer to reciprocate and help them any way you can.
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