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Over many years of helping many phenomenal aspiring board members develop a compelling board resume, I have noticed that there are some common mistakes people make when preparing a board resume. These mistakes are nearly universal and are easily fixed with a change in perspective or approach, and in sweating the ‘small stuff’ that can make a big impact on whether your resume stays off the ‘no’ pile. With a little bit of work, you can take your resume from average to standout. Here are the top five mistakes that I see in board resumes, and how you can avoid making them with some simple adjustments and tweaks.
Imposter syndrome. Confusion. Overwhelm. And many a faux pas. All of these things I have experienced on new boards. Unfortunately, more than once over my 13-year board career. Every board is different and has its own set of spoken and unspoken rules. What works on one board, may not work on another. I've learnt this the "more challenging" way. Starting on a new board is going to be a time when you confront some parts of you that you may not have known existed. The shadow sides of us that work to trip us up in high-stakes situations (like in the boardroom). As challenging as these are, they are a beautiful learning and growth opportunity. I’m sharing three common experiences that I and other new board members have had, and what I do and recommend myself and others do to work through them (because they're going to happen and there's no avoiding them). I’m even going to share an embarrassing story that still bugs me. By talking about it, I hope to show that we are all humans (yes, even board members) and that we make mistakes. And that is OK! It's helps to give ourselves and others compassion, grace, and understanding. Remember, we all start green on a new board. Full Show Notes:
Starting on a new board (whether it's your very first, or your fifth) is equal parts exhilarating and daunting. You want to know what you should be doing, but you don’t know enough about this board and this organisation to know what it is that you need to be doing! It’s not great to feel out of control like this (particularly for type-A personalities like me!). I’ve sat with this feeling many times (eight times over the past 13 years to be precise). To help me navigate those first moments on a new board, I’ve developed a process to fall back on to (1) help me feel that I am doing something proactive that will get me to feeling that I am closer to returning value to the board and organisation in a meaningful way, and (2) helps keep the feelings of overwhelm and panic at bay. And I hope it helps you too. Full Show Notes:
As Chair of Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland, and CFO of Bowhill Engineering, Jodie Hawkes relishes in the opportunities to lead people. Whether it’s in the boardroom, in the factory, or across a regional community, Jodie is focused with determination to ensure that goals and objectives are met while building high-performance individuals, world-class organisations, and resilient communities, with a deep sense of wellbeing and connection with the world around them. Jodie shares what motivates her to be involved at the board level, the value she gains from that experience, how she overcame her biggest boardroom challenge, and distils advice for aspiring and new board members from her many years in the boardroom. I also ask Jodie about how she navigates the unique challenges of rural and regional based boards. It’s a rich conversation that I hope you enjoy.
How do I get on a board? Where do I start? If you’re starting out your board journey, these questions are probably going through your mind. I have a couple of answers to those questions along with some important guidance, centred around the analogy of going on a journey. This podcast episode will help you to embark on your board career in a way that enables a successful voyage into the boardroom. View the full show notes here: Break into the Boardroom course:
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is a growing area of focus for boards and organisations. Driven by investors seeking win-win-win outcomes for themselves, the organisation, and its broader community and environment, ESG is an area of business activity with increasing expectations and requirements for disclosure. Inspired from my recent assignment into Australia’s major banks’ ESG activities and disclosures, I’ve identified three lessons that all boards can learn and adopt. I share these – along with some reflections from my research – in this episode.
To be continually successful into the future, we need to constantly work on maintaining relevance (what we can refer to as ‘futureproofing’ ourselves). It’s difficult to know precisely what will be needed in the future; however, there are some rules (developed by tech journalist Kevin Roose) that give us a human-centred framework about how we can futureproof ourselves (and our organisations). I explore his first rule: be surprising, social, and scarce in the context of a board career in this episode. Full show notes:
If you're ready to find that next board role, firstly, I encourage you to work through the steps I’ve laid out in episodes 44 and 45. This process that I developed (and have encapsulated in the self-paced course Break into the Boardroom) works for aspiring board members of any level: first board role or fifth board role, paid or unpaid. There are few additional recommendations that I have for you if you’re ready to take your board career to the next level that are prefect to do at this time of year (or any time really!). For the full show notes (including links to resources to help evolve your board career), visit If you are looking to put some serious efforts into your 2022 board goals, consider enrolling into Break into the Boardroom: it’s a fully online self-paced course taking you through the steps to land a board role. Enrolment includes a personal one-to-one coaching call with me where we can leverage off the work you have done in the course to support you to achieve your board goal(s). You can find that course at
Creating and executing an intentional networking strategy that is natural and isn't wholly reliant on you having to meet people face-to-face, may be what it takes to reboot your board search strategy. I also want you to not have to rely solely on responding to board advertisements as your primary tactic to securing a board seat. It’s certainly one way to get into the boardroom but is something to be used in combination with a networking strategy. For the full show notes (including links to resources to help you build a powerful networking strategy), visit If you are looking to put some serious efforts into your 2022 board goals, consider enrolling into Break into the Boardroom: it’s a fully online self-paced course taking you through the steps to land a board role. Enrolment includes a personal one-to-one coaching call with me where we can leverage off the work you have done in the course to support you to achieve your board goal(s). You can find that course at
So you want to get on a board, but you’re not sure how to start your board journey. ‘How do I get on a board’ is a common question that I receive. To help you start out, I have three things for you to do to make your journey into the boardroom smart, smooth, and direct. For the full show notes (including links to resources to help you on your board journey), visit If you are looking to put some serious efforts into your 2022 board goals, consider enrolling into Break into the Boardroom: it’s a fully online self-paced course taking you through the steps to land a board role. Enrolment includes a personal one-to-one coaching call with me where we can leverage off the work you have done in the course to support you to achieve your board goal(s). You can find that course at
Do you ever feel bogged down in the nitty-gritty of every tiny detail at board meetings? Does the conversation feel like its going around and around in circles? Do you ever hear your CEO use the words “micro-managing” and “over controlling” when talking about your board? Well, it could be because your board is too concerned with the operational issues of the organisation when the focus should really be on the more important strategic matters. Here are seven questions to help you focus discussions at the right level at your board meetings. Full show notes:
Amanda Cole is a highly accomplished leader who has forged a successful advisory board career over the past 20 years. Since starting as a volunteer board member of her professional industry association, where she quickly moved into the national Chair role, Amanda has grown her advisory board portfolio. She is currently the Chair of Sunfresh Linen and two other private advisory boards for medium-size national family businesses. Amanda is sharing a ton of valuable information and ideas that you can take into your board career, whether you’re an existing board member, aspiring board member, or looking to expand or grow your board portfolio. Full show notes visit:
When you get talking to board members you will very quickly discover that they all share a set of common frustrations. These usually centre around unequal workload distribution, under or no meeting preparation (i.e. haven’t read the board papers), receiving too much or too little information, receiving papers too close to the meeting time, and taking too long or not long enough on the important decisions of the board. These are such common frustrations across boards and board members of all industries, for-profit and NFP organisations, and all sizes and shapes of boards. And I’m not surprised. From my own experience it feels like we assume that because you’re capable of sitting on a board that somehow you instantly and inherently know how to do that: how to be part of a team, how to prepare for meetings, how to BE a board member on this board, without anyone telling you or showing you how. And no one talks about it. You’re just expected to integrate seamlessly. It’s no wonder all of these frustrations arise: no one has taken the time to discuss and agree on a set of guiding principles around HOW the board will work and WHAT expectations the board and board members have and agree to work to. We’re all just thrown together and expected to work it all out and have efficient and effective board meetings at the end of the day. So, to help you help your board, I’m sharing some ideas around what to do before, during, after, and in between board meetings to help you and your board be efficient and effective. I encourage you to take these ideas, and some of your own, to your board and develop as a team your rules of engagement to ensure you’re all on the same page and all operating from the same rule book. Full show notes:
Carolyn Grant is an advisor, author and founder of 6peas marketing and engagement; an agency creating tools, frameworks and training founded in neuroscience to provide insights to leaders to improve critical decision-making, team performance, customer advocacy and innovation. Carolyn is the creator and publisher of the People + Science Boardroom Psychological Safety Benchmark 2020-2021 (Australia). Her research around psychological safety in the boardroom is the topic of our conversation. An HBR article reminds us that “The highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety — the belief that you won’t be punished when you make a mistake.” However, Carolyn’s research has shown that 45% of board members feel unsafe in the boardroom, the majority of the time. So what’s driving this? How do you have the type of robust / fierce conversations necessary in the boardroom whilst maintaining psychological safety? How do you effectively balance these two factors without falling into the trap of group think and fake harmony just for the sake of not upsetting others? Carolyn shares her perspectives from working with leaders and board members and shares what we can individually do as board members to create a psychologically safe environment AND maintain sufficient and effective discussion and debate. Visit Carolyn's website: View the full show notes:
The chances are high that you will sit on many different boards throughout your board career. Your boards will likely be in different industries, serve different customers, have different and unique challenges and opportunities, and will have its own culture and structure and context. To try and build specific skills for each and every permutation would be a long and tedious task. This is where developing the necessary core skills will enable you to have a catalyst for learning and building new, specific, skills faster. These core skills are termed 'meta skills'. I share my list of board member meta skills and how you can master them. My Five Meta Skills for Board Members: 1. Getting comfortable with Discomfort 2. Curiosity and Courage 3. Self-Awareness 4. Not knowing it all 5. Commitment Join the Board Talk community on Facebook: Visit:
Welcome back to another edition of boardroom insider of the month. Today I am joined by Rod Buchecker. Rod is a marketing & brand strategist, CEO coach, and board member. Amongst many other roles he holds, Rod currently serves on: • The Advisory Board of Think 180 Pty Ltd • The Board of Burnside War Memorial Hospital and is Chair of the Burnside Hospital Foundation, and • The Board of Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park, where he is also Chair of Risk and Governance. Rod’s board career extends back to 1994; so he has a lot of wisdom to share and he does so in this episode. Rod shares • His pathway to the boardroom • What he thinks are the essential skill(s) of great board members • How he sees his professional expertise benefiting organisations via board service. • The value he gets personally from serving on boards; and • How he overcame his biggest board career challenge. Connect with Rod at Full show notes at
My guest today is Brad Waldron. Brad is known for his room-filling energy, infectious humour and battle-proven insights with immediate real-world applications. He has a proven record of helping others to succeed, through harnessing a rare combination of insight, humour and practical strategies to increase performance whilst enabling people to gain more fulfillment from their professional roles. He’s a speaker, CEO, executive chairman, strategist, coach, champion, author and winner across sport and business. I came across Brad when I searched LinkedIn using the phrase ‘Corporate Athlete’; as you now know, Brad really does embody that mental image of a corporate athlete. I invited Brad onto the podcast because I know that many of you are playing multiple roles: full-time professional, parent, partner, family member, friend, and board member. Amongst other things. I want to support you to be successful across all of these roles, and that you maintain the high energy, high output, that you are likely known for, without burning out so that you have a long-term sustainable board career. I am sure that this conversation will inspire and motivate you to be intentional about the roles you choose to play, and that you play them from a 10. Full show notes:
Six years ago I had a stroke. It taught me some valuable lessons. This episode is in recognition of National Stroke Week in Australia (2-8 August 2021). You can donate to the Australian Stroke Foundation at I am also donating 1% of all August course revenue. Visit
As part of diversity month, I have invited Sunita Miranda onto the podcast to have her share her experiences in the boardroom as a young female of Indian ethnicity with an expertise in marketing and communications. Sunita has served on boards for nearly 13 years, starting, like many of us, in the NFP sector while working full time and with a young family. Sunita is a testament to sharing your career goals with your partner so that you’re all working together, why it’s critical as a board member (current or aspiring) to always be educating yourself, and the simple and practical way a board can approach improving its diversity. Find all of the show notes here:
What should one expect from a new director induction / on-boarding program? AND If there is no formal new director on-boarding program in place, for example, in the case of smaller NFP's or private companies, what should one ask from the Chair and CEO to get yourself up to speed as quickly as possible ahead of your first board meeting? My answer to these questions addresses the two main aspects of board life: the business and the board. I also include the questions that I would be asking the CEO and Chair to get me up to speed and contributing to the board and business ASAP. For full show notes (including links) visit:
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