Board Appointment

Board of Directors Overview

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Every publicly traded company in the U.S. must have a board of directors, and at least 20,000 private companies choose to have one as well. This sums to a grand total of 80,000 boards nationwide. The average board tenure lasts about eight years, leading to about 10,000 board seats needing to be filled every year. 

However, what exactly is a board of directors? It is simply a group of people legally appointed with the responsibility of governing an organization. Most board directors are not directly involved with the day-to-day operations of the company and instead are tasked with bigger decisions concerning the future and scope of the organization. In a for-profit organization, board directors are responsible for representing the interests of the stockholders; in a not-for-profit organization the board members serve the stakeholders, which may include the local community or those served by the organization. 

The board works side-by-side with management, together they labor to align the company’s vision with more immediately attainable short-term goals. Boards often work closely with the CEO as well, and in general, board-management relationships are essential to the function of the company.

Before accepting a board seat, you want to ask yourself:

Do I believe in the vision of this organization?

Am I in the right stage of my life to handle the responsibilities of board membership?

What can I personally contribute to this particular board?

What do I hope to gain from being a member of this board?