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Want To Be The CEO Of Your Own Life? Here Are 4 Steps To Set Up Your Very Own Board Of Directors

Written by: Christelle Soto-Suarez, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Who hasn’t heard the expression “Be the CEO of your own life”? As professional women, whether we learned on the job, followed a trade training, or went to college/university, whether we work full time, part-time, or took a few years "off" to look after dependents, we’re all entitled to “be the CEO of our own life”…

Silhouette of business man and woman in blue background.

And CEOs have a Board of Directors to support them in managing the activities of the business and in leading the business forward. Boards are composed of Directors with different expertise (leadership, management, finances, relevant technical know-how, marketing, HR, etc.), providing different advice based on their different perspective to the CEO. Of course, there is much more to a Board of Directors, but that’s not the purpose of this article!


Now, if you’re to be the CEO of your life,” should you not also have your very own Personal Board of Directors?


Who do you need on your board?


It’s so tempting to directly get to the answer to this question, isn’t it?


But I'd suggest going back to the starting point I use in my coaching practice:


Discover “who you really are”!


Because “who you really are" is the foundation of your whole life, and therefore of your career – especially with regard to how happy, fulfilled, and satisfied you feel!


But make sure to look at the “real you,” not the “you” shaped by society, norms, professional environment, etc.


Yes, this may take some time, but:

  • Good foundations are required to ensure that the building (your life) won’t collapse;

  • At the same time, you don’t need to “over” design your foundations because this would be unnecessary costs and lost time – this means that you only need to know enough about “who you really are” to move forward, not absolutely everything!

  • And remember that, as a human being, you’ll evolve with time!

Assess “where you are”


Hopefully, this step should be relatively easy if you've kept your bio up-to-date: industries, employers, positions, skills, achievements and failures, lessons learned, etc.


But do go deeper than you would for your bio – this is a personal reflection on your path to date, including what you wouldn’t mention to anyone in your professional circle…


Identify where you want to be


This is another step in my coaching practice: identifying the most important facets of your life/career and imagining what you would like them to be like in the future (however close or far away you want!).


And to do that, you need to know "who you really are" now, and have a good understanding of "who you want to be" in the future so that you have solid foundations for the building you want your life/career to be!


You may want to look for inspiration, do a bit of exploration, and expand your view of the possibilities “out there” to allow you to build a happier, more fulfilling, and satisfying life/career for yourself!


Who do you need to close the gap between “where you are” now and “where you want to be”?

Now that you know:

  • “Where you are” right now; and

  • “Where you want to be”;

  • It’s time to look at what you need to do to close that gap;

  • This means identifying who you'll need to help you, support you, and empower you along the way!

Be prepared for this exercise to take some time, and to get back to it several times!


But before going into the details of identifying who exactly you would like to have access to during your journey to “where you want to be,” let’s look at the different “elements” of a Personal Board of Directors!


The different “elements” of a Personal Board of Directors


For your Personal Board of Directors to be efficient, you need diversity amongst the members. Below are the 3 main elements where you need diversity – but feel free to add others!


Expertise:

  • Within your own field of expertise, related to, completely different;

  • Technical and non-technical (such as communication, leadership, management); and

  • Related to your career, your personal life, but also to other activities you may have, such as volunteering with professional associations or networking organizations.

Type of support:

  • People who challenge you or who are your cheerleaders;

  • Coaches, mentors, sponsors;

  • Peers, people a few levels above/below you, friends.

Level of access:

  • People you know so well that you can contact them easily at any time and they’ll make themselves available;

  • People who are more acquaintances, who you can occasionally meet over a "working" breakfast, lunch, or coffee; and

  • People you’re inspired by even if you don’t personally know, or don’t even have access to (your role models, people who represent part of who you are).

Who do you already know?


Hopefully, you already have a list of the people you’ve met since the beginning of your career, maybe even since the beginning of your education. If not, now is a good time to create this list!

Look at each name, and reflect on whether you want them on your Personal Board of Directors and, if yes, in which “element” they would fit in. Yes, this exercise will likely take some time, but it’s worth doing it!

Once you've completed the exercise, go back to the list of the existing contacts you want on your Personal Board of Directors and identify:

  • Who you’re already regularly in touch with; and

  • Who you need to get closer to.

Who do you need to add?


Now it’s time to compare:

  • The list you came up with when looking at “Who do you need to close the gap between “where you are” now and “where you want to be”?”; with

  • The list of your existing contacts you want on your Personal Board of Directors; then

  • Identify who you need to add to your contact list; as well as

  • Identify how you could add these people (yes, think networking!).

Final words


Here are a few other comments about Personal Board of Directors:

  • The people on your Personal Board of Directors don’t have to know you’ve given them the “position”;

  • Stay in touch with each of them, don’t wait for them to contact you!

  • Be supportive of what they do: comments on LinkedIn, congratulations on achievements, etc.

  • Your Personal Board of Directors should evolve based on your needs: some Directors will stay a long time, and others will come and go…

I hope you're now motivated to set up your very own Personal Board of Directors, are ready to get through the process, and finally feel confident and empowered to connect with potential new "Directors"!


Interested in knowing more about how I can “Empower Yourself to Create the Life and Career You Want”? Book a free 45-minute Empower Yourself Discovery Call!


Simply curious? Then check out Pistachio-Cassis Coaching website!


Subscribe to my Pistachio-Cassis Newsletter for monthly insights on Empowering Yourself to Create the Life and Career You Want.


Follow me on LinkedIn for inspiration, motivation, and education about how to empower yourself. And please, reach out to me via LinkedIn or email to let me know you’ve read my article. I’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback, suggestions, or anything else you want to tell me! Visit my website for more info!


 

Christelle Soto-Suarez, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Christelle Soto-Suarez is a Personal Leadership & Development Coach who empowers Women in STEM / Construction to create the Life and Career they want, and is the founder of Pistachio-Cassis Coaching. She’s a certified professional coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation.


However, coaching is her 2nd career. Previously, she spent 25 years as a construction professional, working on a wide range of construction and engineering projects and in different roles. She worked and lived in several countries, experienced working in multicultural teams, and speaks 3 languages.


But however fulfilling and challenging these experiences were, the time came when she realized that she actually felt unhappy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied with where she was in her life…


Through her own exploration journey to discover how to create the life and career she wanted for herself, Christelle realized she was actually following a life coaching process… That fascinated her so much that she trained as a professional life coach and she set up her own coaching practice to empower others to also create the life and career they want.


Outside of coaching, Christelle loves expanding her horizons through reading, conversing with people with different backgrounds and experiences, and relaxing in nature.


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