The Inside Scoop on Non-Executive Directorships

With Non-Executive Directorships becoming an increasingly popular career choice, providing expert guidance to those exploring this career path is crucial. 

Marianne Skelcher, herself a Non-Executive Director and an experienced Executive Coach, works alongside Senior Executives who are considering alternative career options.  Through expert coaching, Marianne ensures Execs are in a position to make the right career decisions for themselves and the organisations they are considering joining.

Mariannes top 5 things to consider in becoming a NED:

  1. Consider the Motivation

Sometimes being a Non-Executive Director can seem like an easy/lucrative role.  This is not typically the case.  Although attendance at Board meetings may take little time, there is often much work to be done outside of the Boardroom.  Execs considering this option, need to examine their motivations carefully.

  1. Aligning with an Organisation

Organisations come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important for execs to understand what sector and type of organisation will be most rewarding for them. Considerations such as size of company, type of goods or services provided and perhaps even the organisation’s customer profile, are important.  Identifying with the values of a sector and/or organisation is criticial.

  1. Due Diligence is Essential

Execs must perform due diligence on an organisation they are serious about joining. As a NED there are legal liabilities so confidence in the financial and business stability of an organisation is imperative.  In adverse trading conditions, would the directors be competent and fit to make sound business decisions?

  1. Fit with the Board is a 2 Way Street

Honesty is the best policy when applying for advertised NED positions.  If there is any doubt in an exec’s mind about fit with the Board, they must either work through the concerns or withdraw from the process but never ignore the concerns.  When approaching a Board, execs must be prepared for rejection.  Resilience is key together with an understanding that a perceived mismatch of skills and expertise is not to be taken personally.

  1. The Reality of a Non-Executive Director Role

Whereas an Executive Director has the power and resources to get things done inside an organisation, a Non-Exec Director often does not.  The NED role is about steering and offering guidance. It is a position of reduced authority with heavy reliance placed on Exec Directors to drive and delegate tasks. 

Becoming a Non-Executive Director can be a rewarding career move for those who have researched and reflected thoroughly before committing to their posts.  Expert coaching is available from Career Directed Solutions to ensure a smooth career transition. 

Posted: Friday 28 April 2017

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