Advisory Board as a Mentor

By Olivier Dellacherie, Executive Chairman, Talent4Boards Inc.

In a recent post, I tried to promote the idea that start-ups and growth companies can speed up and secure their development by setting up a well-balanced advisory board.

An advisory board provides the opportunity to mentor new business people as such a board is a group of highly experienced executives who are willing to share their experience and relations to the benefit of the company.

In this post, I want to outline the specific role of advisory board members as mentors. If, as an advisory board member, you assist the CEO, and produce advice on the matters you have experience in, you can also be a mentor, meaning that you can use your knowledge and expertise to provide insight and help others to avoid making common mistakes.

As a mentor, you guide the CEO to help find the right routes for his strategy and to set objectives and priorities.

By being available as often as necessary, you also help the CEO to apply the correct behavior in harsh economic conditions, and by providing constructive criticism.

By your continuous support, you encourage him to learn and improve by focusing on the benefits of his actions, achievements, and what needs to be improved or put right.

Most of the CEOs are alone to make critical decisions. By having support from an experienced mentor outside the usual cut and thrust of business operations, and internal competition from within the management team, the CEO can take time to gain some valuable and relevant perspective and receive constructive feedback regarding his decisions.

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