ProdPod: Episode 72 — Establishing a Personal Advisory Board

The late Dr. Stephen R. Covey wrote in his 1989 best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People ],

Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.

One of the great insights of the past twenty years is our appreciation of interdependence, the support network required of every knowledge worker to survive and thrive. As a term I first heard while reading works of Mahatma Gandhi and then Dr. Covey, it has developed into my deep understanding that the compound, mutual benefit of giving to, getting from and connecting others is a maturity we all must embrace in order to succeed. You need to be able to leverage this wisdom of the crowd in your social network. A Professional Board of Advisers (or, as I commonly will refer to it, Personal Advisory Board), is similar to that of a corporation’s board of directors, in that it is a small team that you assemble of your personal and professional contacts with expertise in areas that you need assistance. Corporations and large organizations all have boards, most of them are not surprisingly required to by law, but some also have advisory boards used to help CEOs and other executives make good and better decisions. You might actually sit on one such board yourself. The reasoning behind having an advisory board is pretty simple yet brilliant. Companies are made of people and people need support and accountability. I approach this same concept when managing my personal and professional life; my interdependent world is the sum total of the people I’ve included in my life. In many ways, everyone has used at least a partial Personal Advisory Board in the past, when they have held family meetings, asked friends for relationship advice, sought out a mentor relationship, or gathered anyone together to help with a specific situation. My thought is to have a Personal Advisory Board that gives you the ability to reach your potential through a consistent framework.

In the next few episodes we’ll discuss what comprises your Personal Advisory Board, and how to run an effective Personal Advisory Board.