Advice to Aspiring Board Members — Maryann Bruce
Maryann Bruce — an experienced corporate board director and a dynamic and collaborative board leader, has had years of experience during her tenure as a Fortune 100 Division President and CEO. Through her work, she has collected numerous career and life lessons.
We are in conversation with Maryann Bruce to know more about her experiences and views on company boards.
In this part of the conversation, Maryann shares advice for aspiring board directors.
You can read excerpts of what she said below, or watch the video.
“My advice to aspiring board members would be to let them know that there are more qualified candidates than board opportunities. It is critically important that they develop a specific plan. I would encourage them to excel in what they do. They need to have a proven track record of leadership and operational success and they need to be well known in their industry.
“I would also encourage them to develop their personal brand. This should help identify who they are, what they stand for, and the value that they will bring to a board. They should work with a consultant to help them create the necessary materials that will be used when embarking upon their board journey. That includes a board resume, a board bio, an elevator speech, etc. A consultant can help differentiate yourself by clearly articulating your unique skills and expertise, the value you will bring to a board, and why the board should hire you.
“I would encourage them to build an online presence and to make sure that the presence projects the image, expertise, and the values that they bring to a board. These individuals should increase their visibility — get published, volunteer to be a speaker at industry events or chamber of commerce events, write an article, and share it on social media.
“I advise aspiring board directors to attend board training conferences. This will help them learn how to become a more effective director, establish their credibility, demonstrate their willingness for continuous learning and network. Relevant associations they may join are The National Association of Board Directors (NACD), Private Directors Association (PDA), and/or Women Corporate Directors (WCD).
“Most of all, I would encourage new and aspiring directors not to give up on their dream. Why? It typically takes a minimum of three years of actively searching for a board position, before it actually happens. Perseverance pays off. Don’t give up and I am confident that you will be able to achieve your dream.”
Maryann, this is very helpful to aspiring board directors. Thank you.
Read part 1 of the conversation here.
Read part 2 of the conversation here.