August 09, 2014

How to Find Your Next Great Advisor or Board Member

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Finding a great advisor or board member is not just something you can “decide to do this week.” It is an ongoing and multifaceted process that yields results over time, from meeting new executives at events, to networking on LinkedIn, to putting in place a way for executives who visit your web site to reach you and express interest in being an advisor. However, one thing is for sure, the right advisor or board member can make an immediate impact on helping your company achieve the next level of success.

Think about your biggest problem or opportunity facing your company right now. How valuable would an individual be who had specific experience with that type of situation, having led his or her company through it and able to provide operational, financial, and strategic advice – and even possibly open up his or her network to connections that could help as well?

So how do you find this person or persons? It starts by always being on the lookout.  Most CEOs are always on the lookout for sales prospects, key hires for their company, and whatever solution cures the immediate “fire” they are currently putting out. Often overlooked however is how a great advisor can actually help on one or all those fronts in a much more impactful way. Finding a great advisor or board member is something you need to be proactively looking for.  Here are just a few ways to do this:

  • On your About Us page on your web site, add a contact person or form for executives interested in being an advisor or board member to fill out. You’ll be amazed at who visits your web site and by having this simple way for them to contact you, who will actually reach out. Don’t put it on your Hiring page as senior executives will never visit that page.
  • Go to events outside of your industry or area of expertise where other senior leaders attend. Often the best advisors are executives who have experience in other industries – find an event that is not too big with very senior executives attending and go to it. You’ll be amazed at who you meet and even what you take away by hearing about how another industry operates. Also, many current CEOs and executives are unable to be advisors for companies in their own industry, but are free to do so in another industry.
  • Reach out to executives proactively. If you think someone would be a good fit, email them, don’t be shy!  Use LinkedIn, CEO groups, or even ExecRank to reach out to these people. Ask to set up a brief call to see if there could be a fit – it is a nice compliment to them and is a great way to see if there could be a fit.

So start taking steps right now to finding your next great advisor or board member – you’ll be amazed at the immediate impact they can make on the success of your business.

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