Dr. Reatha Clark King, a member of the NACD board and a former longtime director of Exxon Mobil, agreed to be filmed recently for a new product NACD will launch in fall 2010. Anyone who has had the joy of hearing from Reatha will know that her grace, passion for quality and excellence, and her wisdom shine through every word she utters. Luckily she is not short of words.
Reatha is a research chemist who was part of the space program in the 1960s. Her job? To make sure rocket fuel really had the firepower needed to get America, if not to the moon and back, then certainly into orbit. In the research labs of the National Bureau of Standards the young Dr. King learned how to test hypotheses, ask questions until she was sure of the answer, and manage risk—skills that have served her well in her subsequent work as a director.
I asked Reatha to share her thoughts on why leaders from all walks of life should consider board service. Our self-study, multimedia program is called “How to Be(come) a Director” and is intended primarily for C-suite executives who are on the brink of board careers, and so it’s possible that many of you are too experienced to ever sign up for it. That would be a shame, because I think even the most grizzled and world-weary director would learn something from Reatha’s response. Here, just for you, is a sample of what she said. Enjoy—and be glad American entrepreneurialism continues to benefit from her judgment and commitment, day in and day out.
How to Be(come) A Director will be available from NACD in the fall. Don’t miss this chance to explore director responsibilities and rewards with some of America’s leading governance experts—directors who can lead the way for you.