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How and Why You Need to Assess Your Inner Circle

According to Vanessa Van Petten from Black Enterprise, developing a personal board of directors could be the key to your career or business success and much-needed support.  Check out her fascinating take on personal board building:

Our society emphasizes friends, family and co-workers as essential parts of our emotional and professional support system. Friends can offer distraction and encouragement, family members give unconditional love and co-workers may provide a sense of camaraderie and even professional advice. However, there are times when we need a fourth type of support in the form of a personal board of directors.

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A personal board of directors is usually made up of up to six professionals in your age group—but not necessarily in your industry—who meet once a month to for brainstorming and encouragement. In his book, Who’s Got Your Back (Crown Business), Keith Ferrazzi was one of the first to promote this idea of a small, intimate professional networking group.

If you’re not convinced, here are a few reasons a personal board of directors could be worth considering:

  1. More Honest Than Friends and Family
    Friends and family can be wonderfully supportive and encouraging, but the often don’t want to be constructively honest or, if you are talking about Mom, Dad or Grandma, they think everything you do is spectacular no matter what. A personal board of directors is a great way to have a supportive but honest group of individuals to bounce ideas off of, and get advice and constructive criticism from, on everything from reports to resumes.
  2. Break From Your Industry
    Sometimes it is good to take a break from your industry or co-workers and get an outside perspective. Often times this can help bring new energy to your ideas or career and get you to meet new people.

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