Serving With Confidence

I often have conversations with other young professionals about the intricacies of serving on a Board of Directors. So many of us want to join a board to take a leadership position within organizations that we're passionate about, but some might feel that their voices aren't as loud as their more experienced peers. You may, as I have, struggle to speak up with confidence during board meetings or in meetings with executives.

This is where it's useful to seek out education in governance.

I joined a Board of Directors before I ever received training in how to govern effectively. So when I learned about a conference in association with GOVERN for IMPACT, I jumped at the chance to learn the concepts and tools of effective governance. I came away from that first conference feeling so much more prepared to lead my organization, and so much more knowledgeable about my responsibilities. I've been working with Govern for Impact ever since to continue to learn and provide opportunities for other young professionals to do the same.

So, if you're on a board or looking to sit on one, why should you consider attending this year's GOVERN for IMPACT conference?

1. Knowledge– the number one reason is that you will learn your legal and moral responsibilities, and develop the skills to deliver those in the most effective and efficient way possible.
2. Confidence– Gaining effective governance knowledge gave me the confidence to contribute in board meetings without pausing to think that maybe I don't know as much as another board member. It also gave me the confidence to accept the role as President (Chair) of IABC/Toronto – a professional association for communications professionals.
3. Mentorship and networking– Sessions and workshops are great ways to develop tools and skills. However, the biggest value in any association or conference, is the ability to discuss with peers (those both less and more experienced than you) and to brainstorm over those tougher dilemmas.
4. Lifelong friendships– Discussing, debating, and getting involved with like-minded peers has led me to develop so many friendships that I cherish. The people I've gotten to know through these types of associations have become some of my closest friends, and that is invaluable.

If you're looking to change the world, demonstrate leadership skills and develop strategic thinking, sitting on a Board of Directors is one of the best things you can do both personally and professionally. And gaining the knowledge and skills to govern effectively can help give you the confidence and tools to make sure your presence has an impact.

Lindsay Grillet has been working with GOVERN for IMPACT on behalf of Young Professionals for more than 5 years, and serves on the IABC/Toronto Board of Directors as Chair. She is passionate about facilitating shared understanding and has training in Psychology, Public Relations and Cross-cultural communications.
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