Not everyone is a saint. The persons who are at the top run a organization, have to face a lot of obstacles to cut through a point. I believe in the edge of soft skills to prove a point.
Here is some food for thought for those who are in the board, or just got inducted in the board –
1. In case your topmost board member is not supporting you, you are not in. For every work that you do hence forth, would be seen as a resistance not a value addition. Your diversity can be a boon and a curse at the same time. But please, follow your leader.
2. The finesse of negotiations lies in the fact that you can prove your point without appearing manipulative. The best salesman in the world would sell a fridge to the Eskimo without sounding manipulative. Sales happen for two reasons- 1. Creation of a need, 2. Finding a need for the sale. It is not that simple not to sound manipulative.
3. A special case for woman. I do not want to sound sexist here, but a woman at a level in the board generally are very headstrong while proving or probing a point. If positive vibes do not match or if she is too strong to prove a point, then it is difficult to move and explain.
4. Trust your instincts. If they are right, follow them. Initially friction happens when you are inducted, and that is natural to cause a gestation period before coming in. Please play according to your strengths. Follow and trust your leader, he or she knows it best.
5. I believe once you are in, a 360 degree assessment is required for you. I believe that a strong leader should work on his weaknesses, not just his strengths. At a board level, the leader should be able to concentrate on his weaknesses personally, and not display strengths. Development takes time.
6. Confidence Vs. Confusion- It is hard to win by exposing confidence, but to strengthen your chink in the armor, you should be able to understand the entire ecosystem. Even Board members should accept training. We have only one lifeline to work on our weaknesses. Trust me, no one is a god here.
7. The best sale happens when you have the right intentions. It is very easy to see what the other person wants or is emphasizing. A sale needs a turnover period or time. Minimum time required is much more in case the friction wears out. Be yourself first.
8. Look for the low hanging fruits as well. Discipline yourself to focus. The smaller turn around time required to turn a situation is beneficial for your entry to the board.
9. Aura- When people start following you and respect you, you develop a positive sense of well-being. People start to believe that you can do wonders when you are actually very positive in your approach. Start loving and respecting a board member to a janitor, the aura automatically starts to develop. That is why a board member is precious.
10. Trust in group dynamics. A board member may be different than you, but he or she will have his own bag of biases towards you. That is why it is important to have a friction initially. Debates are required to have a good camaraderie. A group lunch or dinner may just do the trick.
Dear Readers, thank you for being there. Thank you for your continued patronage. I believe that adaptability is the key to be inducted. Best Wishes. Bricks and bats welcome.