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Building Your Own Personal Board of Directors

empathy and expectations

Jim Rohn said it beautifully, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Whether or not we want to admit it, people affect us in both positive and, well, sometimes not-so-positive ways. Regardless of their contribution, you must recognize that we all need other people to build our own personal successes. Nothing great can be done alone. It takes a community of loving and supportive people along the way to help us close our potential gap.

I am a firm believer that every single person should have their own personal Board of Directors! Yes, you’re very own Board made up of five unique people who can support your journey and help you get to your next step in life personally and professionally.

  1. The Cheerleader pours affirmations and love on to you especially when you’re feeling down and discouraged. They don’t provide feedback or give you advice, they simply remind you of how amazing you are, cheer you up, and offer positive affirmations to you to encourage your forward movement.

  2. The Mentor guides and teaches you, using their own personal experiences, so your path can be made that much easier. The Mentor has walked in your future footsteps, so they are well versed in where you want to be or what you want to do. If you were trying to build a business, for example, the Mentor might be the successful, self-made business owner who lends you trusted advice and guidance.

  3. The Constructive Trustee holds you accountable and tells you like it is! They keep you in check when you go off track, and they point out your personal blindspots. The key here is to ensure your Constructive Trustee provides constructive feedback that you are ready to receive openly. If their feedback or demeanor is too harsh, you may shut down. If they are not direct enough, their feedback may go over your head. It’s important to find the right type of personality and person for this to ensure you’re truly benefiting.

  4. The Connector keeps you top-of-mind in their circle of friends and when they are networking. If you’re looking for a romantic partner, the Connector thinks of you when they meet another single person who might be a good fit. If you’re looking for more business for your technology company, they’re thinking of you when they hear people mention challenges and struggles when it comes to technology in their business. They connect you with the right people to leverage your personal and/or professional success.

  5. The Advocate is a high-stakes individual who sticks their neck out for your growth or success. This is the individual who helps you get the promotion, the person that constantly talks you up to other executives to help you get seen, the person that drives business your way because they believe so much in you that they’re willing to stake their name on it!

Your personal Board of Directors is a must-have and essential to supporting your growth and closing the gap in your potential. As you build your Board, a few more things to think about in the process:

  1. They may already exist in your network. Check your phone; look at your LinkedIn community. Whom do you already know that can fill these roles?

  2. If you don’t have someone that can fill a board position, go find them! Network, connect with new people, and start to fill up your personal community with people you admire and respect. Think about where they network, what type of events do they go to, and how they serve the community.

  3. Add value! Don’t expect your small group of your closest friends to suddenly become your personal Board overnight and start serving you. You must serve first, always, and cultivate a relationship of trust, loyalty, and support first.


Check out our podcast with host Nada Lena Nasserdeen that shares more about Leadership Blindspots!

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