ProdPod: Episode 73 — Advantages of and Member Criteria for a Personal Advisory Board

A Personal Advisory Board is a group of persons who know you, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and who you feel comfortable sharing your goals and unique vision, and individuals who are committed to your success. 
There are several advantages that people (as well as companies) with advisory boards have over their
colleagues. A PAB offers you:
• An unbiased outside perspective.
• Increased accountability and discipline.
• Enhanced self-management effectiveness.
• Help in avoiding costly mistakes.
• Rounding out skills and expertise lacking in your skill-set and experience.
• A sounding board for evaluating new professional and business ideas and opportunities.
• Enhanced community and public relations.
• Strategic planning assistance and input.
• Brings together centers of influence for networking introductions.
The best way I can describe who should be on your Professional Advisory Board is stating who shouldn’t be on your board. No current professional vendor, employer, client, potential client, competitor, direct supervisor/manager, staff/employee, romantic partner/spouse, or other relationships with whom there could be a conflict-of-interest should be allowed to sit on your PAB. Likewise, term limits are also a good way to not only keep everyone’s commitment well-defined but also a way to rotate people out so that fresh ideas and personalities can intermingle.
Although the reason for these individuals to sit on your PAB should be charitable by design, you might want to think about how you are going to thank board advisers at the end of their terms, or if/when they need to leave the PAB prior to their term’s end. A small sign of appreciation for their dedication to your success will reap compounded benefits for you in the future.
These are a few guidelines for making this a successful network of personal and professional contacts that are assisting you to move forward in your life and work. Please feel free to add to these guidelines for yourself and selectively publish appropriate guidelines to your board advisers.
In the next two episodes, we’ll discuss some guidelines for running an effective Personal Advisory Board.