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5 qualities of an effective boardroom director

'Board meetings should not be for the benefit of the board. They should be for the benefit of the CEO and the senior team.' - Fred Wilson, Venture Capitalist


Although a career in the boardroom can be financially lucrative for experienced directors, it is important to remember that it is not a pathway to big bucks early in your boardroom career. Early opportunities will often be voluntary or lower-pay positions.

That is why it is vital to have the motivation and interest in the board of the company you are serving on to see you through the required workload.

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People may not be aware of how much time board membership entails. It’s not simply attending a monthly meeting for a few hours; it can include attending committees, training, travel time, strategising and special functions.

To manage the necessary workload to contribute effectively as a board director, often whilst also working a ‘day job’, it is vital for board directors to have a high-level of commitment and time management skills before embarking on this challenging yet rewarding career path.

Teamwork and influence

Remember that as a board member, you are essentially working as a part of a team. You are, after all, a member of a board. Your ability to read a room, listen, challenge, inspire, persuade and effectively express yourself to your colleagues is pivotal to your success and achieving the company’s goals.

Managing ego

It is no surprise that the boardroom typically attracts high-achievers who are usually reasonably senior in their professional experience. While this is a boon, we want those guiding some of our most prominent organisations to be highly competent in their skill and judgement.

However, the flip side is that there may be a sense of ego that comes with these traits. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your ego in check and separate from the boardroom so you can exercise better judgement and decision-making and work more cohesively with colleagues in pursuit of the company’s best interests — not your own!

Always learning

Last but certainly not least, pursuing continual learning and development is essential to be at your best as a boardroom director. With the shifting of business and governance landscapes occurring alongside the rapid development of technologies, it is now more important than ever to stay ahead of these changes and adapt to the risks these changes bring.

Many of our most successful members have taken advantage of membership with Governance Institute to access exclusive training and networking opportunities that has enabled them to stay relevant, in demand and effective.


The role of effective boardroom director is fluid and one that requires a semblance of innate characteristics, soft skills, technical skills and knowledge developed through professional experience and education. It can be a challenging space to work in, but the personal and professional rewards are plentiful.


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