Why You Need a Personal Advisory Board

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.

What is a Personal Advisory Board?

A PAB 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.

Who is Part of a Personal Advisory Board?

Your PAB may include:

  • A more traditional, “master mentor”: Someone who is older and more professionally experienced than you are.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Creating a Personal Advisory Board

To find the best people to serve on your PAB, 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.

What are the Benefits?

More often than not, one single mentor cannot give you everything you need in terms of guidance, advice, direction, motivation, etc. This is where the PAB shines: given its make up 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 PAB 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.

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.

Ready to get your mentoring program started? Learn more about the five key decisions you need to make in order to successfully match, build momentum and measure a program – Book your Mentorloop demo with a mentoring expert, today.

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