The board of directors is a group of people who oversee the operation of a business, nonprofit organization, or public entity like a school board. These people are not employees of the entity they govern but may receive compensation for any time or effort they expend while carrying out their duties. The board members are usually older people with vast experience within the type of business they will be overseeing. However, there are also some younger people on a board when the company wants new, fresh, and innovative ideas to work with. These people, regardless of age, are either asked to be on the board, petition the company for a seat on the board, or are elected for the position. In any event, here are some general qualifications most entities look for when choosing board members.
In-Depth Knowledge of the Industry
You are not going to become a corporate bank board representative if you do not have a complete understanding of how a bank operates and have some type of financial background. Of course, a solid financial understanding is not always necessary to become a qualified school board candidate. If you are seeking a position on any board of directors, make sure you have the knowledge needed to work with the other members of the board without needing to be trained in the industry.
A Member of the Industry's Community
In addition to knowledge, you should be part of the industry's community in some form. To serve on the board of directors for a hospital you should have some type of medical background. This does not mean you must be a doctor, but perhaps a lawyer who has worked within the medical community or an accountant who understands medical coding and billing. You will probably not be considered qualified to sit on the board of directors of a school system if you have never worked in a school, don't have children in school, or don't live within the school district.
While it can be an honor to be asked to become a board member, do not just jump at the chance. You need to do your due diligence about the company as much as they will do it on you. You do not want to get involved with a company that is about to undergo a major lawsuit or one that is on the verge of financial ruin. You may think you can be the savior of the problem, but in the end, it won't look good on your resume.
For more information, contact a professional like William Keyes.