Many organizations have a board of directors. There are multiple types of leadership boards. There are three boards that every leader needs to cultivate to maximize success:
The purpose of a sounding board is to get feedback on your ideas. It’s a terrific way to test how ideas come across, how they “sound,” surface problems that still need to be solved, or be told something is ridiculous before it’s aired out in a public forum. Ideas need testing, shaping, refinement. Some ideas need to be connected with others to make them more powerful.
The purpose of an editorial board is to help you with communication. Communication is one of the foundational crafts of leadership. Reach out to people to critique and test communication vehicles like memos, reports, and presentations. Get suggested edits. Discover where messages are confusing or might be interpreted the wrong way. Test the structure and sequence of a presentation or significant document.
The purpose of an encouragement board is to provide perspective and encourage you when you need it. The bigger the gap between what you need to be/do and what you comfortably can do, the more you need encouragement to bridge the gap. There is no leadership of others until you lead yourself, and we often need the most encouragement to become strong self-leaders.
I don’t care how smart or skilled you are, or how much experience you have – leaders need all three. These roles are an important part of your networking.
Use them well. Be sure to express your appreciation to people who help you, and by extension, help your organization.