Thank you for continuing the dialogue when it comes to sponsorship and mentorship. We heard from many individuals in the Works for Women network that establishing a mentorship relationship has been so important in their own careers – which we couldn’t agree with more. Building off that topic, we are so excited to share our October Challenge with you.
October Challenge – Building Your Own Personal Advisory Board
For the month of October, we are challenging the Works for Women networks to build a board of directors for your career – a group of people you consult regularly to get advice and feedback, which we are calling a Personal Advisory Board. Executives and managers need an array of advisors, mentors and role models to provide critical information and support at defining moments – we believe everyone benefits from building their own advisory board.
Just as corporations configure networks to deal with the variety of problems and opportunities faced by knowledge workers, individuals need to configure their networks based on their needs and the resource commitments involved in building such relationships. The best way to start building a personal board is to take inventory of your own strengths and weaknesses. Strive to surround yourself with advisors who fill those gaps. Best practices when it comes to creating an effective personal advisory board:
Once you have cultivated a strong network, ensuring that you have advocates is a critical steps for advancement and development—and why not seek to build an advisory board with those individuals that can challenge you. We all need sounding boards. A place to test our ideas, our strategies, and push us to think beyond our perceived limitations. Yet how many of us have taken the time to formally set up an advisory board? This month we are pushing challenging you to build a support network you can turn to and lean on. And we want to hear from you!
To formally join the challenge, simply:
Skilled advising is more than the dispensing and accepting of wisdom; it’s a creative, collaborative process—a matter of striving, on both sides, to better understand problems and craft promising paths forward. And that often requires an ongoing conversation. Check out this article from the Harvard Business Review on The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice. And if you are continuing to seek mentorship and sponsorship relationships, check out this video on why mentorship matters. Catalyst research has found that while mentoring is essential to leadership development, it is not enough, on its own, to help women advance.
In closing, thank you again for helping to spark dialogue, build awareness, and inspire action. We are reminded that change does not happen overnight, but by uniting our community we can take direct action to impact change. On behalf of Works for Women, thank you for helping us drive change in Alberta.