A Personal Board of Directors
Do You Have One? ©

by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach

Property management is rapidly changing, and you are faced with more decisions then ever before. Today's fast-paced lifestyles create information overload. During your lifetime, you will have 10 or 15 "major" decisions and another 25-30 semi-major decisions. Developing a Personal Board of Directors will help you make GREAT decisions and this article will tell you exactly how to implement this important idea. Once in place, you will never look back!

Developing your Board: Let's start with the obvious. Your Personal Board of Directors might include: a Doctor as a health/medical resource, a CPA for tax advice, an attorney for legal guidance, a banker for financial guidance and a priest/rabbi/deacon for spiritual support.

Here are some of the less obvious: a sales and marketing professional, a public relations expert, a business coach, a child care specialist, a human resource professional, a webmaster for Internet guidance, a property management professional three levels above you, an executive in a dissimilar industry and/or a business owner in your same industry but not a competitor, based on geography or your resident profile.

Tip from The Coach: Think of a Personal Board as your "inner circle", as each person on your Board will share in very important information about your personal and professional life. Carefully consider every individual you invite to be on your Board, as they should be selected and remain on your Board for the rest of your life. You can always make changes to the people on your Board, but a real richness comes from working together during good times and bad. Like a great bottle of wine, proper "aging" of your Board will give it fullness, maturity and increasing value.

Working with your Board: Once you have formed your Personal Board of Directors, the next step is to make a list of the ways your Board can assist and support your success.

Some examples of professional and personal topics to discuss with your Board: a new career, the start of a new business, advancement in your property management company, the relocation of your family for professional or personal reasons, how to handle a problem employee or supplier, life and legacy planning, your children and their development, financial planning, and the health of your marriage, just to name a few.

You see, your Board will be a rich resource to you in many ways, so long as you speak "truthfully" with them and are open to their specific advice and feedback.

Tip from The Coach: While your Board can give you powerful guidance and suggestions, the final decision must always be yours. When making an important professional/personal decision, take a blank sheet of paper and list all the pros and cons surrounding the issue, then ask for and gather the feedback from your Board. Next, write a brief summary statement to yourself explaining the reasons for your decision and store this sheet in a special place. Lastly, mark your calendar for some point in the future to evaluate the results of this important decision. A review of each important decision you make during your lifetime will help you evaluate your accuracy and clarity about the future. Remember, "perfect practice" makes for perfect decisions!

Communicating with your Board: The next step is to decide how often you will meet with your Board. For some, monthly is perfect, for others twice a year is great and many meet on a quarterly basis. The frequency is up to you and your Board members, but the frequency should depend on the velocity of issues or decisions you are making.

Here are some examples of ways you can meet or communicate with your Board: in person, by telephone, by teleconference as a group, by E-mail, by fax, by letter, by video conference or during a nice meal. With today's menu of technology, the distance between you and your Board members is no longer an issue.

Instead, invite only the "best" to be on your Board and allow technology to facilitate your communications. For a more formal Board approach, consider C-12 (for Christian business owners), TAB (The Alternative Board) or TEC (The Executive Committee).

Tip from The Coach: As you invite each member to participate on your Board, be very clear about your expectations for each Board member, the frequency you will meet or be in touch, and your request for "pointed" and honest feedback. After each person agrees to be on your Board, discuss how they would like to be compensated for their time. In most cases, a trade or barter is done for goods or services, in many cases a small gift or favor is enough. If necessary, offer to pay a small fee to each Board member as the value of their feedback will be returned many times over.

Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions? Fax a quick note on your letterhead to 435-615-8670 and The Coach will fax you back a free invitation to be a participant on an interactive LIVE telephone teleconference. On this call we will discuss how to form your Personal Board of Directors, in 30 days!

Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach, founder of PowerHour®, a professional business coaching service delivering customized training, by telephone, in management, marketing and sales for property management companies, apartment locator/corporate housing services and publishing companies worldwide. We specialize in global distance learning by telephone, using our state-of-the-art conference call system for interactive and dynamic TeleForums. Twice-monthly TeleForums link 10 -100 executives/ professionals/ individuals who are geographically dispersed, in a time efficient and profitable format. PowerHour® is based in ski-town—Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail ernest@powerhour.com or visit our TeleForum website: www.coachingsuccess.com. To receive a FREE property management success newsletter send an E-mail to: ernest@powerhour.com. Recent PowerHour® articles have appeared in 1500+ business/trade publications and websites.

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