Tag Archive: networking

3 Tips for Finding Your Next Board Seat

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Finding a public company board seat can be difficult, to say the least. After all, there are only about 4,381 public companies listed in the U.S., each with about 7.5 seats held by nonexecutive directors. Combine that with a low rate of turnover for the directors already occupying those seats—about 8.5 years in the S&P 500—and approximately 3,866 public board seats become available each year for independent directors. To put that in context, just 339 new board seats became available in the Fortune 500 in 2014, with 67 percent of those seats filled by current and former CEOs and CFOs.


With the limited number of seats available on public company boards, NACD recently released a memo, called Director FAQ: Finding Your Next Board Seat, detailing five key strategies to help you find your next board seat. We’ve summarized three of those strategies below:

  1. Evaluate the current demand for board seats and what company type your corporate experience is most suited to.
  • Nonprofit Boards: Nonprofit board service—though often uncompensated—is rewarding in its own right and a great way to meet directors who can, in turn, be points of introduction for other board seats.
  • Private Company Boards: More than 99 percent of all U.S. companies are privately owned. Serving on the board of a start-up or small private company can be a great place to learn how to be a director, especially with the venture-backed and private equity firms establishing the governance structures at these companies.
  • Public Company Boards: Although there are only a few thousand public companies in the U.S., non-U.S. companies that are headquartered and conduct business abroad, but are listed on U.S. exchanges, may be particularly interested in directors who understand U.S. listing requirements and who can help satisfy independence standards.
  1. Strengthen your personal brand.

Take the following steps to help you develop your personal brand:

  • Become a recognized subject-matter expert by speaking at conferences and publishing articles.
  • Conduct an Internet search of yourself and analyze the results to determine if there is anything damaging to your reputation and how you will mitigate it.
  • Keep your LinkedIn profile current and include a photo of yourself.
  • Design your résumé for a directorship position, not an executive position, by describing what you can bring to the boardroom.
  1. Formulate a comprehensive networking approach.

In the 2015–2016 NACD Public Company Governance Survey, 38 percent of respondents indicated that personal networking or word of mouth were the most valuable methods of identifying their most recently nominated director.

When networking, target a number of individuals:

  • Your CEO may have recommendations for where you may serve that would be complementary to your current role.
  • Executive assistants you meet at conferences are often able to put you in touch with directors you would otherwise be unable to track down.
  • Your working relationships at law firms, consulting firms, and banks may pass along your information to other businesses they work with.
  • Shareholder activists need independent directors to place on boards of the companies they target.
  • Venture capital and private equity firms look for independent directors to lead their companies toward an IPO.
  • Contacts at potential boards can provide advice about the kind of board you would be suitable to serve.

NACD’s Global Board Leaders’ Summit, beginning this weekend in Washington, DC, includes a workshop on Landing Your Next Board Seat this coming Monday, September 19 at 2 p.m. To register for the NACD Summit, please visit NACDonline.org/Summit.

You Asked. We Listened. New Networking Opportunities at Conference.

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When you come to NACD’s annual Board Leadership Conference, you know you’ll hear hard-hitting insights, participate in engaging sessions, and network with leading boardroom experts and peers. But this year, the conference has been designed to offer more opportunities than ever for you to connect face-to-face with today’s big thinkers and agenda-setters.

In addition to our hallmark networking-packed power breakfasts, keynote luncheons, cocktail receptions, dinners, and NACD Fellowship and NACD Chapter gatherings, the 2014 agenda features longer breaks, giving you more time between each session to connect with your fellow attendees. We’ve also added peer-exchange roundtables and learning track options, making it even easier for you to meet directors who serve similar industries, organizations, and committees—and share your boardroom concerns.

Our enhanced Social Media Lab, where social media-savvy experts will guide you through the latest technologies, tools, and trends, and Partner Showcase will include interactive displays, book signings, and plenty of space to meet your new colleagues.

In tandem with this year’s conference theme—Beyond Borders—the NACD Global Village has been designed to bring NACD members and international business leaders together to discuss emerging trends and opportunities in the global business arena.

Once you are onsite, be sure to check out our improved conference mobile application, NACD BLC Mobile, featuring in-app messaging so you can readily correspond with fellow attendees, exchange contact information, set up meetings, and more. You’ll also be able to broadcast your personal conference insights and share information from NACD’s social media sites to your own social networks.

With over 160 speakers and more than 1,000 anticipated attendees, don’t miss your opportunity to network and connect with the best in the boardroom. Reserve your seat today.

The conference takes place Oct. 12-14 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland—just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C.

10 Reasons to Register Today for NACD’s Board Leadership Conference

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For corporate directors, time is a valuable resource. As such, I’m frequently asked why directors should carve out three days to attend NACD’s annual Board Leadership Conference, which is held every October in the nation’s capital. To me, it is obvious why those in the boardroom should attend this first-rate conference.

Here are the 10 reasons I shared with our NACD chapter leaders at a recent meeting in St. Louis, Missouri:

  1. Save $500 when registering by April 30. The NACD Board Leadership Conference is historically sold out, and this three-day conference represents the most important knowledge exchange for the world’s leading directors, C-suite executives, and governance experts.
  2. For directors by directors. Learn from leading boardroom practitioners, those who have endured many hard lessons you may not want to encounter yourself! Hear firsthand from Laban Jackson, audit committee chair of JPMorgan Chase, about the London Whale controversy and his perspective on the board’s role in risk oversight. Learn more about the shifting landscape of social media from Clara Shih, Starbucks director and CEO of Hearsay. Get the latest on how big data is impacting business with Rich Relevance CEO David Sellinger.
  3. Get more actionable takeaways than from any other conference. Address persistent challenges and gain “next practices” from your peers on the timeliest and most critical boardroom issues, including human capital management, emerging technology, compensation, and global markets.
  4. Make your voice heard. Take part in shaping thought leadership and talk to influential legislators, regulators, and stakeholders.
  5. Sharpen your committee skills. Attend a Sunday Board Committee Forum, including dedicated sessions on audit, compensation, nominating/governance, and risk. Network with peers during breaks following big-name keynote speakers, and share your opinion with peer-led panels and committee chairs who really understand your challenges.
  6. Get hands-on with social media. Visit our first ever social media learning lab, staffed by experts in the latest social media trends, who can show you the ropes and help you understand how social medial is affecting your business.
  7. Spark innovative thinking. Participate in active dialogues around Directorship 2020—NACD’s new initiative—to explore how and why the boardroom will change over the next several years and what you as a director need to know to keep pace. Gain exclusive insights gleaned from thought leaders and directors around the country in a report from our Directorship 2020 regional events.
  8. Build your network. Exchange ideas with nearly 800 directors from around the world, including those from Akamai Technologies, Ford, JetBlue, JPMorgan Chase, and Union Pacific, to name a few.
  9. Strengthen your reputation. The most sought-after directors are well informed and well connected. Your participation at this event will earn you recognition for your commitment to continuous learning. For those who have completed the Master Class, this conference confers all the elective requirements you need to become an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
  10. Tailor your experience. There’s something for everyone. Join special breakouts for general counsels, private company directors, small-cap directors, and nonprofits organizations. With nearly 50 sessions, choose from unmatched session selection to meet your own boardroom needs and interests.

In my opinion, NACD’s Board Leadership Conference is not only a great value, but an experience every corporate director should take part in.

I look forward to seeing you this October in Washington, D.C. Register here.