How and Why You Need to Assess Your Inner Circle

Developing a personal board of directors could be the key to your career or business success and much-needed support

How to start your personal board of directors group?

  • Identify between four and six professionals. The hardest part is connecting with a good group. Think of a few professionals you know who may or may not be in your industry who you think are intelligent, open-minded and collaborative. If you can only think of one or two, this is fine too — those members might have a few people in mind to invite.
  • Decide how often to meet. I know personal board of director groups that meet every week. Others check in once every six months. Have an idea of how often you want to meet and tell invitees what to expect.
  • Define ground rules. Once you have got an group together define some ground rules—no one leader, open support, constructive criticism only, confidentiality etc. You might want to create a Google Doc with the rules and then decide on your structure. I encourage Board of Director groups to go over goals every time they meet and then do goal check-ins with each other.
  • Let it grow. You will find that your group will grow on its own—both in terms of rules and members. Remember, you do not want it to be too big because you want everyone to feel supported, but otherwise let members dictate the direction of the group.

Vanessa Van Petten specializes in social and emotional intelligence research and development. The focus of her company is to research youth behavior and help adults keep up with young adults.

YEC Urban is an initiative of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth. YEC Urban’s members are successful minority business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

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