We’ve recently discussed a few alternatives to traditional mentoring, including reverse mentoring and peer-to-peer mentoring. In this post, we’d like to take a deeper dive into yet another alternative: a Personal Advisory Board (PAB) style of mentoring.
A Personal Advisory Board consists of not one mentor, but many. Instead of having one “master mentor”, you’ll have access to a range of people with different perspectives and lived experiences.
This will allow you to build a support network you can turn to and lean on—in both good times and bad—with each member having their own distinct skills and areas of expertise.
Learn more about: What Exactly Is A Personal Advisory Board?
We all need guidance and support along our personal and professional journeys, but where do we turn when we’re facing tough decisions or navigating unfamiliar territory? Enter the personal advisory board. A personal advisory board is a group of trusted mentors and advisors who can provide invaluable insight, wisdom, and accountability as you navigate life and work. In this article, we’ll explore why having a personal advisory board is crucial, who should be on it, the benefits it can provide, and how to establish one for yourself.
Who is Part of a Personal Advisory Board?
The beauty of a personal advisory board is that it can consist of anyone who brings unique perspectives, experiences, and skills to the table. Some common members of a personal advisory board include:
- A more traditional, “master mentor”: Someone who is older and more professionally experienced than you are. We often think of former or current colleagues and bosses with this classic stereotype.
- A reverse mentor: Someone more junior than you that can help you adjust to technological and cultural shifts
- A peer-to-peer mentor: Someone about the same age and/or at the same professional stage as you—or just a tiny bit ahead—who is going through the same battles and challenges you are.
- A cheer squad mentor: Someone who is there to encourage and support you every step of the way. Trusted friends or family members might fall into this category.
- A subject matter expert mentor: Someone with loads of experience in a field or topic you’d like to learn more about/become an expert in yourself. You might consider industry experts or thought leaders here or even those from professional associations or networking groups.
The key is to select individuals who align with your personal and professional goals, values, and vision for the future.
When it comes to selecting mentors or coaches for your personal advisory board, it is important to choose someone who has experience in the areas that you want to grow in. For example, if you are looking to improve your leadership skills, it would be wise to seek out a mentor who has a successful track record in leadership positions.
Trusted friends or family members can also provide valuable insights and support. They know you well and can offer a unique perspective on your personal strengths and weaknesses. However, it is important to select friends or family members who are honest, supportive, and have your best interests at heart.
Industry experts or thought leaders can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your personal advisory board. They can provide insights into industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies. It is important to select experts who are respected in their field and have a track record of success.
Former or current colleagues and bosses can also provide valuable insights and advice. They know your work style and can offer feedback on your strengths and areas for improvement. However, it is important to select colleagues and bosses who are supportive and have a positive working relationship with you.
Professional associations or networking groups can provide access to a wide range of professionals in your industry or field. These groups can offer opportunities for networking, mentorship, and professional development. It is important to select groups that align with your personal and professional goals.
A personal advisory board can consist of anyone who brings unique perspectives, experiences, and skills to the table. It is important to select individuals who align with your personal and professional goals, values, and vision for the future. By building a strong personal advisory board, you can gain valuable insights, support, and guidance as you navigate your personal and professional journey.
Benefits of Having a Personal Advisory Board
More often than not, one single mentor cannot give you everything you need in terms of guidance, advice, direction, motivation, and so on. This is where the personal advisory board shines: given its makeup of different individuals, every one of those people will be able to give you something you need, together creating that elusive, “perfect” mentor.
What’s more, your personal advisory board can help you upskill in multiple disciplines, providing you with a wider net of expertise, each mentor passionate and perfectly placed to guide you in their particular area of expertise.
These multiple perspectives will also expose you to a diversity of thought, challenging you to solve problems from a multitude of perspectives and approaches.
One of the main benefits of having a personal advisory board is access to diverse perspectives, experiences, and expertise. By gathering a group of individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge and insights that you may not have access to otherwise. This can lead to more well-rounded decision-making and a broader understanding of the world.
In addition to gaining new perspectives, having a personal advisory board can also lead to increased self-awareness and personal growth. When you surround yourself with individuals who are invested in your success, they can help you identify blind spots and areas for improvement. This can be uncomfortable at times, but ultimately it can lead to personal growth and a better understanding of yourself.
Another benefit of having a personal advisory board is accountability and motivation to achieve your goals. When you share your goals with others and have regular check-ins, you are more likely to stay on track and make progress. Your personal advisory board can provide encouragement and support along the way, which can be invaluable during challenging times.
Guidance and support during challenging times are other key benefits of having a personal advisory board. Life is full of ups and downs, and having a group of individuals who can offer guidance and support during difficult times can be incredibly helpful. Your personal advisory board can provide a sounding board for ideas and offer advice on how to navigate challenging situations.
Having a personal advisory board also means you gain access to new insights and fresh ideas to solve problems. When you are working on a project or facing a challenge, your personal advisory board can offer new perspectives and ideas that you may not have considered – leading to more creative and innovative solutions.
Having a personal advisory board can lead to an expanded network and opportunities for collaboration. When you bring together a group of individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets, you can create new connections and opportunities for collaboration. This can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and friendships.
Ultimately, a personal advisory board can help you accelerate your personal and professional growth, overcome obstacles, and realize your aspirations. By surrounding yourself with individuals who are invested in your success, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Establishing a Personal Advisory Board: A How-To Guide
Now that you understand the importance of a personal advisory board and who should be on it, you may be wondering how to establish one for yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Clarify Your Goals: Before you can recruit members for your advisory board, you need to clarify your personal and professional goals. What do you want to achieve, and who can help you get there?
- Identify Potential Members: Based on your goals and the criteria we discussed earlier, identify 5-10 potential members for your advisory board. Reach out to them to gauge their interest and availability.
- Set Expectations: Understand what each member can offer and establish expectations for communication, meetings, and feedback. Be clear about your goals and what you hope to achieve with each member’s help.
- Meet Regularly: Schedule regular meetings with your advisory board to check in on progress, share updates, and seek guidance. Be prepared to listen and act on their advice and suggestions.
- Express Gratitude: Remember to express gratitude to your advisory board for their time, expertise, and support. Show them that you value their contributions and are committed to making progress.
Crafting Your Personal Advisory Board for Maximum Impact
Simply having an advisory board is not enough; you need to craft it strategically for maximum impact. Here are some tips to make the most of your personal advisory board:
- Diversify Your Network: Don’t limit your advisory board to people you know or who are similar to you. Seek out diverse perspectives and experiences to challenge your thinking and broaden your horizons.
- Be Open and Vulnerable: To benefit fully from your advisory board’s guidance, you need to be open and vulnerable with them. Share your fears, doubts, and challenges, and be receptive to their feedback and support.
- Maintain Balance: While it’s essential to seek guidance and support, don’t rely solely on your advisory board. Remember to take ownership of your decisions and actions, and maintain balance in your personal and professional life.
To find the best people to serve on your personal advisory board, start by identifying your own strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to your weaknesses, rank them based on your desire to improve in each, and then look for people that can help you fill those gaps.
Next, consider all possible matches, not ruling out individuals simply because they lack knowledge of or experience in your specific industry. Oftentimes, the general knowledge and experience an outsider brings to the table can provide you with the clarity you need to define a suitable path.
Last but not least, look for those individuals who are willing to share their experiences, rather than solely provide prescriptive solutions. Absorbing these stories will allow you to filter out the lessons and apply them to your own situation.
Find a Group of Advisors That Fit Your Vision
When selecting members for your personal advisory board, focus on finding a group of advisors that fit your vision. Don’t settle for individuals who don’t align with your goals or values, or who may hold you back rather than propel you forward. Remember, the right advisory board can help you achieve your utmost potential.
Gathering Different Mentors for Different Development Needs
Another way to maximize the impact of your personal advisory board is to gather different mentors for different development needs. For example, you may have one member who specializes in career growth, one who provides financial advice, and one who focuses on personal wellness. By assembling a diverse group of advisors, you can address multiple facets of your life and work.
Leveraging a Personal Advisory Board for Professional Growth
The benefits of a personal advisory board are particularly valuable for professional growth. By leveraging the insights, expertise, and networks of your advisory board members, you can accelerate your career trajectory and achieve your full potential. From landing new opportunities to navigating challenging situations, your personal advisory board can be a game-changer for your career.
Now that you know the importance of a personal advisory board, who should be on it, and how to establish one, it’s time to take action. Start building your personal advisory board today and take your personal and professional growth to new heights.
Ultimately, with the right Personal Advisory Board, you’ll be empowered, educated, and ready to apply the best ideas from a powerful group of minds to your career.
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