In the business world, 2020 will go down as one of the most disruptive years on record. Overwhelmed by the coronavirus and suffocated by the consequent forced confinement, most organizations have found little reason to celebrate. However, it is in times of crisis that real leaders emerge. Ask yourself “how can I go about increasing my visibility and leadership role during a global pandemic?” You can become that person within the remaining months of 2020.
As discussed in my previous article How to Increase the Visibility of Your Personal Brand, if your personal brand doesn’t have adequate visibility, it is highly unlikely that it will ever gain the necessary momentum to grow. The following strategies have been proven to help increase visibility:
- Establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
- Create a strong presence on social media.
- Engage in proficient networking.
- Commit to philanthropy, including volunteering and board service.
In this article, we are going to focus on the importance of using board service to redefine and/or establish your personal brand. Serving on a board is an experience that carries with it myriad rewards. Board members gain far greater insight into the workings of their own and other organizations, expand their networks with previously-inaccessible contacts, and step into the cocoon of positivity and possibility that comes with a seat at the table.
An executive with a board title is immediately privy to information that others do not have. Information is always the key differentiator in any competitive scenario, from a school exam to the battlefield to the marketplace. It gives you the ability to make the right decision which, to those unaware of that knowledge, may seem almost visionary. Use this to your advantage.
In almost all endeavors, success is not simply about what you know but also who you know. Part of this is circular logic – the right contact can be the conduit to the right knowledge, which we touched on above. The board exists in the elite echelons of business hierarchy. There is almost always considerable overlap between the members of different boards, making for a super-network comprising individuals that have immense knowledge to share. Absorb and apply.
The journey to being invited onto a board is arduous. It is a tale of long hours, incredible effort, and silent sacrifice. For exactly those reasons, being included is in itself a badge of honor. The media, politicians, and even other business leaders respect the opinions of board members. It is the ideal platform to share your ideas and build a following.