Skills for a Successful Board Member

A board member who is successful has traditional leadership traits like an impeccable ethics and integrity; an understanding of governance issues; an executive ability to communicate with, inspire and empower others and to drive improvement. They also possess an intense curiosity and a continuous learning mindset, and are always looking for ways to improve their performance.

The interviewer wants to determine if your experience on the board has prepared you for complex issues. You should be able to give an example of how your leadership has prevented the board from taking risks with regard to regulatory and legal issues and ensured that the company is following best practices. You can also tell how you helped the board to develop clear guidelines, procedures and policies that will determine the future direction of the company.

The ability to question and confront one another is an essential skill for successful board members. The interviewer will want find out if your connection with the other members of the board is strong enough to handle challenging conversations, and if can help the company figure out its way forward when it goes off course.

Board members are bound by a fiduciary obligation to act in the interest of the company. They should also be aware of their limits when it comes down to decisions which could impact the business. The courage to contest a decision is a sign of integrity, and can aid the company in its pursuit of success.