Personal Board of Advisors
In my ever-expanding quest to be a better human, I recently received the excellent advice to assemble a “personal board of advisors.” Although I consider myself lucky to have a host of wise folks in my life, I loved the idea of formalizing this cadre of helpers into my own sage squad.
What’s the purpose of a Board of Advisors?
This type of structure may not be necessary (or even helpful) for everyone. It’s useful to me for a few reasons:
I’m lousy at asking for help. There are times my staunch independence and I-can-do-it-myself mentality has served me well: learning to do basic human things as a determined toddler, moving across the country without knowing a soul fresh out of college, climbing the corporate ladder, and embarking on international solo travel. But in retrospect, I can identify just as many times where it has held me back. If I want to level up in life, it’s a weakness I can’t keep carrying. Formalizing the asking process will make it stick until it (hopefully) begins to feel more organic with practice.
We all need to see the world in a different way sometimes. When I’m considering a problem, I see it through the lens of my own upbringing, life experiences, and preconceived notions. (Confirmation bias, anyone?) There’s power in a well-placed question, and I’m ready for the punch of that perspective shift.
It prevents stagnation. Sometimes lack of movement produces beautiful things, like sauerkraut and kombucha. More often, it produces a whole lot of sameness. Reaching out to my board at regular intervals will keep me accountable, energized, and aligned.
Above all, it seems like a shame to have so many big-hearted, uber-wise humans in my life and not soak up a smattering of that goodness for my own thirsty cells.
Who is this illustrious crew?
It’s a very carefully selected group of five people with a broad array of talents, backgrounds, and philosophies. Some are twin souls, and others are starkly different in personality or perspective – but never in core values. They’re people who will prod (gently!) at my weak points, hold up the mirror of self-awareness, and give me a little love when it’s needed. Every now and then, they’ll remind me what I already know but sometimes forget: that we’re all in this together. Here’s the line-up.
Font of practical and other-worldly wisdom; blends philosophy and spirituality to shift my state of being; creates exquisite quiet space
Chair of Questions
Plumbs the depth of a situation; furrows out truth by asking the un-obvious questions and going where I may not go on my own
Chair of Possibility
Understands my limiting beliefs; dreams big and casts a vision that transports me from a place of what is to what could be
Chair of Business Sense
Provides insight on practical business issues; maintains an eye on the larger vision to ensure decisions are in alignment with the greater good
Chair of Woo
Reminds me of all the forces at play in the universe that are in my favor; delves into chakras, spirit guides, and general magic
What exactly does a Board of Advisors do?
Every role might look a little different, but mostly, the Board of Advisors is a ready-and-waiting, there-when-I-need-it troupe of helpers. (Kind of like the benevolent overlords of my life.) At least once per quarter, I’ll share an update and pose a question for the board by considering 5 Important Things.
In turn, their assistance comes in the form of:
- A thoughtful question
- A resource, like a book recommendation, quote, podcast, or connection to someone in his/her network
- A tidbit (or a big bit) of advice
- A meditation
- A hug (virtual or real-life)
…or anything else. Because I’m in New Zealand and my advisors are in North America, these exchanges usually happen via email, perhaps with a Skype call sprinkled in when there’s something more heady to toss about.
The very existence of this group keeps me seeking, keeps me ready, keeps me open. Certainly there will be some evolution in its function and role over time, but for now, this feels like Baby Bear’s Board of Advisors – juuuust right.
Open your hands if you want to be held.