We all need sounding boards – to test our ideas, strategies, push us to think beyond our perceived limitations, or simply to remind us that “it’s a really stupid idea & to not spend another minute or dime chasing it!” Yet I continue to meet so many who either don’t have this informal board of advisors, it’s haphazard, or simply managed poorly.

As such, here are 7 best practices in creating that effective personal advisory board:

  1. Recruit 3-5 people who are sharper, are smarter & have deeper or a broader set of experiences than you do! You’ll have to invest – time, effort, resources. You may have to get on a plane and go see them. The right people make all the investment worthwhile!
  2. Develop a vested interest in them seeing you succeed; one size doesn’t fit all so figure out or ask what it’ll take for them to coach, mentor, guide you toward your vision or future state.
  3. Establish mutual expectations up front. What do you need from them, frequency, how will you apply their input?
  4. What are the metrics that you’ll use to gauge your progress? Collaboration for sake of collaboration is a waste of time & valuable resources.
  5. Meet regularly & constantly challenge the strategy, your processes, people, technologies & business outcome vs. input! What are your flawed critical assumptions?
  6. Where you’re headed will always be more important and valuable than how fast you get there! Get a compass & throw away the stop watch. Advisory Boards lose interest if their perspective continues to get ignored!
  7. Make every interaction a learning opportunity. Brief in advance, debrief afterwards & apply the learned lessons to the very next opportunity. That’s how you grow & raise the bar on your performance, execution & results.

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Best, David

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