Different ways of networking to find a board seat – Anouk Pappers

Anouk Pappers - Brand Anthropologist

The power of networking is huge and looks like it will only grow in the years to come.

The effect of networking has slightly shifted since the influence of ‘Google as the new background check’ has come into being.

The rise of professional networking sites like LinkedIn has opened networking for large-scale connections.

The question remains, how can networking help you find a board seat?

According to several sources, personal networking is the key to board seats.

However, it is the board that finds directors via networking. It has not been proven that directors find board seats the same way. It’s the idea of ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’.

So, what can you do to take the matter more in your own hands?

Make sure that the board finds you, hears / reads about you.

And this is where your online reputation comes in.

Although it is not ‘personal’ networking, it is a great way of creating a strong personal brand, supported with thought leader content.

Approach sitting board members on LinkedIn, request them to connect and share thought leader content.

Don’t ask for a board seat, but show ‘what you bring to the table’, by sharing your vision, engaging in a conversation and staying relevant and top of mind.

There is a difference between getting found by “networking,” which is about knowing people personally, and getting found by a “board committee,” which is about building a reputation. These are two different things.

Getting found by a board committee presents a specific challenge where ‘online’ networking helps. To be identified by a board committee in a way independent of personal networking means that you have clearly articulated ‘what you bring to the (board) table’. Here your online reputation really can make a difference, whether positive or negative.

Let friends and colleagues know one-on-one that you are looking for a board seat. Provide them with content that they can easily share, help them talk about you so that you are top of mind when the time comes that they are (or know someone who is) searching for a board member.

No matter how effective personal networking is, don’t rely solely on it. It is toofar away from opportunities. You need to focus on reputation management too—to “get found” by those board committees seeking to move beyond their existing networks.



Tags: Anouk Pappers, #AnoukPappers, Coolbrands Women, finding a board seat, women on boards, CoolBrands People

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