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Curating a PBOD is a strategic and intentional process that takes time but is worth the effort both personally and professionally!

We are excited to share the recap from CAP STRAT Women’s Forum Virtual Meetup: Curating a Personal Board of Directors (PBOD) led by leadership coach Carla Harris.   In kicking off the program, Carla reminded us that our PBOD can be filled with women and men who are already in our professional and personal networks, we just don’t think of them as “board members”.  If you already have a board in place, she recommends reviewing it every 6 to 12 months to make sure you still have the right people in those seats and that they are supporting you in the manner which you intended.   

Below are Carla’s suggestions to curate your personal board: 


Is a mentor on steroids, a champion who will talk about you, your experience, and your integrity when you are not in the room.  These relationships are organically created; they’re influencers who see something in you that they want others to see too.  And, they are willing to use their internal political and social capital to help you move your career forward and create opportunities for you.  It is in essence, a sponsor, protégé relationship.  


Many asked if it’s appropriate to have one person fill two roles and Carla’s answer was “yes,” so long as there is clarity around what they are bringing to each role.  For example, sponsors can also be mentors, but not all mentors are sponsors.  A mentor will talk to you about your goals, help you create your vision, coaches you through challenging conversations or projects, advises on what classes to take, associations to join, and strategizes around how to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.  


Is someone who has a broad network, is influential, and who you can call for anything.  She/he is well respected within the community or organization and most importantly, is willing to extend their own network to connect you with others who can support your personal or professional goals.  Also, if they don’t know someone who can fulfill a need/request, they are prepared to reach out to their network to find someone who can. 


This is someone who believes in you no matter what, who knows “you got this” and you can overcome any obstacle.  This individual is an encourager and fuels you with inspiration to succeed and keep going.  

Accountability Partner. 

This board member is responsible for holding a mirror up to you.  This seat is filled by someone willing to call you out, with no judgment, and holds your feet to the fire.  While they hold you accountable, keep in mind they are not responsible for the choices you make but can help you see the consequences of your choices.    


We all need someone there when we fall.  But, for a limited time only!!  This board member is a shoulder to lean on but is also strong enough to help you get up, readjust your mindset, and supports you in getting back on track.  They are not used as a “crutch” nor should they be someone who “enables” you.    

Having a PBOD can be priceless and a meaningful resource in your professional and personal development and can launch your career to the next level. It will also be a source of enriching and life-long relationships as you will enhance their lives with what you give to them, too.  

About the Speaker

To learn more about Carla’s services check out The People Institute.  In addition, she has offered one hour, lunch & learn virtual training sessions at 50% off the regular rate for the following topics: Remote Team Engagement, The Image of Leadership or Generations @ Work.


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