Crash Course in... Joining the Board

You've been offered promotion to executive director. But what does a seat on the board entail and how can you best prepare for your new role?

by Alexander Garrett

You've been offered promotion to executive director. But what does a seat on the board entail and how can you best prepare for your new role?

Don't sign anything until your lawyer has seen it. A contract for service is of great value as it outlines the limits of your role, but you need your lawyer to check what you're signing up to in terms of severance, non-competitive clauses, etc. Consider taking independent advice on a sensible pay benchmark for your new role.

Think holistic. It's no longer enough to know about just one section of the firm. 'To sign off the accounts as being true and fair, you'll need to understand the whole company as well as your bit,' points out Simon Goldring, a partner at law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. You'll also be expected to contribute to decision-making across the whole business, so make a whirlwind tour of the parts you haven't previously reached.

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