5 Tips on Building your Personal Brand for Boards

Our panelists, from left: Lisa Corrigan, Martha Josephson, Jennifer Nason, and Karen J. Simon

Last week we held a fabulous event at J.P. Morgan’s office in NYC, bringing together a group of female executives for a night of professional headshots, education, and networking.

Our expert panelists Martha Josephson (Partner, Egon Zehnder), Jennifer Nason (Global Chairman, Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan), Karen J. Simon (Vice Chairman, Investment Banking; Head Director Advisory Services, J.P. Morgan), and Lisa Corrigan (VP Business Development & Partnerships, theBoardlist) dropped some serious wisdom around helping build and improve your personal brand.

A quick summary of some of the key themes we discussed:

  1. The board search process differs, depending on whether it is a public or private board; most board searches begin with the Board’s Nominating Committee and requests for referrals from current Board Members. About 50% of public companies will additionally engage executive search firms. Egon Zehnder has put together The Path to the Boardroom, a 3-part series that will help you understand the board search process.
  2. Use your network and ask for advice. Make it known that you are interested in a public or private board seat. Take bankers and lawyers to lunch — they can surface board seat opportunities.
  3. A private board is a great first step (for ~3–5 years) for those who are interested in a public board. Note that being on the board of a charity or nonprofit is not analogous to serving on a corporate board. Nonprofit board service can be incredibly fulfilling, but it shouldn’t be seen a stepping stone.
  4. Come prepared to the board interview with questions or feedback specifically about the company. More board interview tips here.
  5. Develop your superpower — what are you known for and how would that be valuable to the board? Read our posts: 5 Steps to a Better Board Profile and Framing Your Board Story for help on this.

Also, if you’re looking for a board position, don’t forget to set up your profile on theBoardlist, we’ve got profile tips to help you get started!

Photos from our event — thanks to Benefit Cosmetics for making sure everyone was ready for their close-up!

Ready to help us increase the number of qualified women on tech startup boards? Visit theboardlist.com/join to learn more.