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C-Suite in waiting? Three key questions to boost your chances of joining the board

Are you a board member to be? Are you on the fast track to the C-Suite? Whether your ambitions are lofty or you've already been identified as a future leader of your organisation, here are three questions to accelerate your growth and build your credibility as an Executive Director.

What do you stand for as a leader?

Repeated research shows that the single most important factor in building credibility and followership as a leader is to be congruent and authentic.

To be sure that you are being congruent and authentic, you must first be clear on what you stand for as a leader. People, including potential future colleagues in the boardroom, should know what they can expect from you as a leader. Unless you are clear on your leadership standpoint, you can't be sure you're living it.

What is your strategy?

The number one purpose of a board is to set the strategy and manage the organisation to deliver it. Yet, in many organisations, strategic capability is lacking, even at the top table.

Having a clear, comprehensive strategy for your current business area is the number one way to demonstrate your strategic capability. Following that strategy through and delivering on your strategic intent is the next most valuable thing you can do.

How will you influence the culture?

Even by stating the influence that culture has over strategy, you will demonstrate a degree of understanding lacking in many boardrooms (if you haven't explored the link between strategy and culture, read my book, The Alignment Advantage).

If you can demonstrate clearly how you will be a role model of your organisation's desired culture – not because you want it to be a nice place to work, but because it will help to deliver the strategy – you will show why your CEO and fellow execs should be clamouring for you to join them on the board.

Your executive development plan

Putting these three questions at the heart of your development plan and acting on them will be a huge step forward in your quest to join the C-suite.

If you want to accelerate your development even more, email me here with Executive Development Coaching in the title to learn about my one-to-one coaching programme for aspiring board members and C-suiters.


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