My objectives for taking part in the Boardroom Ready programme were to gain more knowledge about the responsibilities of non-executive directors and learn from prominent business people.
There were three key learning points for me.
The eye-opener was the session held by Price Waterhouse Coopers on the legal responsibilities of non-executive directors. I had no idea that in a non-executive role I would have the authority to question the directors on the financials. It’s within a non-executive director’s responsibility to hold board members accountable and put them on the spot if necessary. Knowing this definitely made me question more and feel comfortable about doing so.
The half-day seminar on Finance for Non-financial Managers had both personal and professional benefits for me, as I had direct access to experts who could advise on my own situation. Having a forum with other business professionals on the same subject helped with the overall grasping of a topic that’s important but not a favourite of mine!
Confidence tips from all of our speakers were very useful, but for me Sunny Crouch made the most impact on me personally. She has served on several boards and was very honest and open about how to handle mistakes, home life and feelings of self-doubt. She said that when you make an error you should continue in a professional way. “Dont’ beat yourself up or let emotions overtake the issue at hand,” she advised. This resonated with me as, at times, I tend to over-think some things I feel I shouldn’t have done or said rather than the positives of what I did well.
Taking part in the programme has given me the confidence to offer some of my clients the option of making me a non-executive director rather than working for them as a retained consultant. A few had never even thought of this option and one of my clients is seriously considering this and taken it to the board which currently has no non-executives.
As well as running my own business, Debbee Dale Development, I am also setting up a new business which has developed from an original idea of taking a new product to market. Initially I was in talks to be a consultant, however, after gaining more knowledge, feeling more assertive in terms of “the board” and learning from experienced professionals I have decided to be an executive director of the business. I am not sure I would have done this before I participated in the Boardroom Ready programme.
Taking part in the programme has given me the confidence to offer some of my clients the option of making me a non-executive director rather than working for them as a retained consultant.