Establishing an Effective PBD
In my last post, I introduced the concept of establishing your Personal Board of Directors (PBD) as a grounding and guiding force for your personal and professional success. This may have left you wondering, “How do I find people to partner with for my PBD?” As I shared, my PBD formed organically out of a group with whom I was already partnered in leadership work. So, if you don’t have a natural, organic group already in existence, how can you create your PBD?
Establishing an Effective PBD: As individuals and companies, we face an increasing number of challenges that are complex by nature. Their complexity calls for solutions that address all angles of the issue, and thus solving them also requires a group of people looking at each challenge from multiple perspectives. Your PBD should include people who represent various industries, roles, life experiences, locations and cultures. Reach across to all corners of the world if you can! The more diverse your PBD, the better, because the potential for creative solutions grows in relation to the diversity represented in your group.
With a strong group of supportive people, the sheer number of perspectives from which you can see a given situation can, through deep, honest dialogue, outsmart any genius expert by factors. Finding this group of individuals can happen in various ways, both organic and intentional.
It could happen for you, as it did for me; you find yourself in a workshop, course, or other cooperative setting where you’re exploring, new thoughts and ideas about your life’s work and find that you want to support each other beyond this moment. It could be an intentional process, where you pick a few folks you know, respect and admire for their abilities and gifts; then, you share with them the idea of creating a PBD, the process of participation and see if it resonates with them as well.
Getting to the “I Just Know” Moment: Choosing your PBD members is a very personal and meaningful process for each member. The PBD members agree to support each other honestly, fully, and for the highest good. This entails a true, open, and personal commitment to each other, so choosing your PBD also asks you to apply those qualities to yourself in creating your board, as well as acknowledging your willingness or unwillingness to offer these qualities to the other Board members. When you’re looking for potential board members, or meeting with people you think may partner with you in this way, stay open to your instincts. In the presence of this person, can you receive and give honest, open advice; and can they? Can you share your own experiences, possibly painful or raw ones; can they?
How It Works for Us: We’ll explore the logistics of convening your PBD in my next post, but first, a bit about why depth of commitment and openness is vital to choosing your PBD. At our meetings, when someone is sharing a challenge they need help with, all Board members give their full and undivided attention. There will often be a Board member that shares a personal story of their own in order to highlight that the other person is fully understood in their feelings because they have faced similar challenges. This sharing helps to normalize the situation and is often the moment of revelation that comes from a shift in perspective and a different way of thinking that leads to a solution.
This revelation has a tremendously encouraging effect on the member sharing their experience, and it comes to them because they have been understood, accepted, loved and seen as “whole” by other Board members. Through acceptance on this level, one can also accept their own situation fully, and this is a prerequisite to being able to solve it.
Even through coaching others, there are always take-aways for each of us. When one is coached and “councilled” the others are in awe of the brilliance, the intuition, the sound business advice and then the transformation of each one of us as we move forward in our lives.
Now What? When you find a few folks who share your passion and commitment for creating a PBD, gather them via conference call, Skype or in person, if logistically possible. Then it’s time to co-design a partnership alliance. This is an agreement that creates your shared understanding for the mission of the group, how it will work and what is important to each of you when you work in a group of this nature. Your partnership alliance will serve as a guide for members of the PBD to be present and in service of each other.
My experience of a Personal Board of Directors has been, and continues to be, a highlight in my life. I highly recommend finding a group of people with whom you’d like to be “on board”. They don’t necessarily need to be people in your everyday life. The goal is to find people to join you in offering and receiving objective, selfless, dedicated time and a commitment to completely unconditional love and support. After all, isn’t that what we want as we go out into the world to share our gifts in service of the highest good? Your Board serves as a microcosm of what is possible when people have no personal agendas, don’t need to be right, are together for something bigger than themselves and are completely present for one another.
When you know your Board is and will be there to support you, the future looks brighter for each of us. Espavo!