All public and many private companies have a Board of Directors to advise, encourage, challenge and—when necessary–chastise their officers. It is a duty which must not be taken lightly by either party. Boards with high ethical standards and courage are not ‘Yes-Men’ and ‘Yes-Women’ who routinely rubber-stamp every decision made by the CEO. Some, unfortunately however, do get sore necks from collectively bobbing their heads in agreement with the company leader on every issue. Others tend to do nothing but find fault and criticize, thereby stifling creativity and growth.
My contention is that each one of us, even in a small business, has a personal ‘Board’ whether we realize it or not. Our unofficial Board is comprised of friends, co-workers and acquaintances who freely offer their opinions and influence our lives.
That being the case, I suggest that we choose our personal Board with clarity of intention. Select those whom will always have your best interest at heart and not be afraid to make difficult recommendations to you. Most importantly, choose positive uplifting individuals who are truly a ‘Board of Directors’ rather than a ‘Board of Detractors!’ You will not benefit from listening to the ‘Yabuts’ of the world: "Yabut, that will never work!” “Yabut, we tried that one time and it was a total failure.” “Yabut, you’re crazy to think that you could accomplish that!"
Surround yourself with Board Members who expect you to approach projects with realistic expectations, prudent caution and unrelenting enthusiasm based on your skill-sets and resources.
Jettison the dream-killers who have their own agenda and not your best interest at heart. Be selective. You don’t need them in your professional life. Director or Detractor: Your choice–and an important choice it is.
Bill Sheridan/Sheridan Writes/8106 Brookview Drive/Urbandale, IA 50322
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