Shirley’s keys to success:
1) Know yourself, and know what kind of board work you are best suited for, and where you can add value.
2) Corporate board service involves different skill sets to executive work: learn and understand the rules of the game.
3) Serving on a corporate board is a real job: you must do your homework, and be ready to adjust your game for the specific business and as board members rotate on and off.
Shirley, tell me, how did your journey to the boardroom as a corporate director begin?
I have always been interested in board service and served on a number of not-for-profit healthcare boards during my career as a senior healthcare executive. By serving on non-corporate boards, I learned a great deal about board processes, deliberations and working with professionals from other industries.
What has surprised you about the reality of board service versus the expectations that you had coming in?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the two corporate boards on which I serve. They are very different industries with different challenges due to their size, market dynamics and historical success. I have found both boards to be interesting in terms of the actual work being done as well as the interpersonal dynamics with the management and other board members. I believe I was pretty realistic about what board service would entail, but have found that I need to be constantly adjusting my “game” as board members rotate off and on to the boards, as management changes occur and as the industries change. Being on a board is a real job that requires the board member to engage and do their homework.
Read more about what has inspired Shirley on her board journey and what she’s learned along the way.