Board Update

January 11, 2007

Well, its been almost a month since my last round of meetings with my Board of Advisors. I did accomplish all of the goals that were expected of me. And I have scheduled another round of meetings for this month. These should take place early next week.

I was pleasantly surprised today when I logged on One of the stories posted was titled “8-Ways to Enhance your Career“. The article was from the Wall Street Journal and the first way believe it or not was to “Create a Board of Advisors”. The article went on to say “Find two or three people you admire, and take each one to lunch a few times this year, says Dale Winston, chief executive of recruiting firm Battalia Winston International. Look to your advisers for counsel, feedback on your career progress and introductions to new people or ideas. The ideal board will include someone at work who understands your company better than you do, someone within your industry who has a broad sense of what’s happening in the field, and a third person who understands what you want from life.”

Well I guess there goes that patent idea. But its nice to see some indirect approval of the method I laid out for myself. It would appear I’ve started off on the right path, (at least according to Mr. Winston). I am sure you’ve been wondering who my Board of Advisors are? Well they all agreed to be put on my blog, so click on Board of Advisors above. It would also appear from reading the article that I owe my advisors lunch, something I will gladly rectify the next time I see each one.

Here were my goals to complete before the next meeting:

  1. Sign up for a class that I will demonstrate quantative skill
  2. Sign up for Toast Masters
  3. Begin volunteering
  4. Research into a comedy or improv class

I’ll post more on each goal after meeting with my advisors.


Happy New Year

January 4, 2007

Well I took some time off for the holidays and did not blog, check email or surf the web (much). I am looking forward to getting started on my goals from my Board of Advisors. So far I’ve signed up for a Statistics class at Harvard University’s Extension School. Hopefully this will help to improve by educational background.

Board of Advisors

December 19, 2006

I started up my Board of Advisors this week. Of the 5 people whom I looked at as potential candidates I talked to all five this week and four agreed to be on my board. Which was a great response rate. I had talked to the 4 prior to my meetings this week so they knew what to expect. The 5th declined on account of begin to busy to be able to help.

So I guess the first lesson is that if you ask someone to be on your board they may say no. Hopefully that person will be able to say ‘no’ in a dignified manner that does not make it look like you were dumb to ask. Incidentally if you are asked to be on a Board, or informal advisor to an Associate and do not have the time please don’t bite the Associate’s head off. It takes some courage on the part of the Associate to ask and a negative reaction from a potential Advisor may sour them on the whole process.

As preparation for each meeting I prepared a set of slides that:

  • Described the expectations of the Advisor
  • Outlined the goals I set for myself for the next 3 years
  • Who the Board members were
  • Strengths and Weaknesses as they related to my job and area(s) to improve

Each meeting was conducted one-on-one with each Advisor and the slides helped to provoke discussion and areas to focus the Advisor and me over the next 6 months. Each meeting lasted between 30-60 minutes.

The 2nd lesson I learned, was that the perspective that others have on what you perceive as a weaknesses was the most interesting part of the first meeting. Sometimes what you think is a weakness can be a hidden strength and listening to others describe why can be invigorating. The goal in addressing a weakness is not to make you into a rock star in that area but to at least be competent or improve your self confidence in that specific area so you can focus on improving in other areas where you can excel and differentiate yourself.

The results of the meetings generated some tasks for me to help address areas that the Advisor and myself could work on. This included some research into classes available as well as looking for specific measurable goals for the Advisor and myself to track.

Also, the 3rd lesson I learned, is that the Advisors will want to know about each other, I did not elect to have a group meeting to start since between myself and the Advisors we live in 5 different states and work for 3 different companies so finding a mutual time would have delayed things. However at the end of all my meetings I did send out a summary email to all of the Advisors that summarized the meetings and gave some background on each Advisor. They agreed to be mentioned on this blog so they may check here for additional info.