Appointing Your Personal Board of Directors – Who They Are & Why They Matter

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” 

We’ve all heard this well-known quote by motivational speaker Jim Rohn, right? 

What he’s saying is saying is that it’s important to audit the people around you…. To make sure you’re spending your time with people who are aligned with your values, what you want in life and support you on whatever brave journeys you’re planning!

Well, for me, I call those five (or however many) people my personal board of directors. And they’re my goddamn lifeline.

What’s a personal board of directors?

No, a personal board of directors isn’t a formal group that meets in a conference room, rocking business formal attire. It’s simply a way for YOU to identify the people who enrich your life and who make it possible for you to “do it all”. In fact, they shouldn’t all even be strictly business-related. 

Your Personal Board of Directors (PBOD) is your hand-selected community and support system.

They’re the people you choose to surround yourself with who will encourage you, tell you the truth, provide emotional support, challenge you, dream with you, hold you accountable to your goals, call you on your bullshit—be your PEOPLE.  

They’re the ones you rely on to give authentic feedback, act as a sounding board and advise you in the midst of life decisions, opportunities and challenges. They see the bad. They celebrate the good. They love you through the ugly.

The best PBOD is one that is diverse and willing to provide you with multiple perspectives, ideas and insights. What you DON’T want is an echo-chamber or a group of people who think exactly as you do or who will say what you want to hear.

That's why, ideally, your personal board of directors shouldn't consist of immediate family, as they might be too personally invested in an outcome to provide guidance that is purely in your best interest.

Why is it important to have a personal board of directors?

Unfortunately, we can’t do it all on our own. It’s impossible. You can be introverted, independent, it doesn’t matter. As humans, we are designed for connection and there are always ways in which we can be better together.

And, contrary to popular belief, admitting you can’t do it all and that you need help does NOT make you weak. Relying on others for support is SEXY and it is a sign of empowerment and strength.

In your business:

Figure out what you do really well and then do that thing. Then delegate the rest to others. Trusting experts to play an active role on your team makes you look good! Though, that shouldn’t necessarily be your driving motivation, it is the outcome regardless. Your PBOD will elevate you and level you up in your business.

In your personal life:

Having people you can rely on at home is just as important—if not more. When things are harmonious at home, and your emotional needs are being met by your friends and loved ones, it empowers you to conquer the world. You can take leaps and bounds with the confidence that they’ll be right there to catch you when you fall and celebrate you when you win.

Who’s on my personal board of directors?

My partner.

Who, first of all, is a complete badass. She encourages me constantly, asks me for advice (this is important because it means she values my opinion and it gives me a sense of worth) and gives me guidance. 

My friends.

The ones who drive my kids to birthday parties and bring them home from school so that I can run a workshop or attend an event with one of my other children. The friends who reach out with a call or text simply to say “You are on my mind. You matter.” The friends who sit with me in quiet and the ones that take me out for a much needed grown-up meal. 

One of these sweet friends is my neighbor. Having someone to care for our garden when we’re traveling, check in when things are hard, be around for a game of cards (virtual these days, even though we live across the street) share treats and just make life on my block a million times more pleasant means I am rejuvenated and ready to do brave things. Because, the reality is, our businesses don’t work if our personal lives don’t work, right?

My business team.

My marketing guru, my designer, my web developer, my copy editor, my mastermind group —the team of people that keeps me functioning at my highest level, because let's face it: I can't do it all.

I am always acutely aware of my PBOD and how much I depend on them, but the best part of having a personal board of directors is being on other people's board!

My PBOD gives graciously over and over and over again, and I love to pay it forward. When the opportunity arises for me to rise up and help them in return, I do so joyously, graciously and with enthusiasm. It is important to ask powerfully so you enable others to give graciously.

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About the Author

Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.