Personal Board of Directors…Do You Have One?

Personal Board of Directors…Do You Have One?
by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach {Article #178…since 1995}

Property management is rapidly changing, and you are faced with more decisions then ever before. Today's fast-paced lifestyles create information overload. During your lifetime, you will have 10 or 15 major decisions and another 25-30 semi-major decisions. Developing a Personal Board of Directors will help you make great decisions and this article will tell you exactly how to implement this important idea. Once in place, you will never look back!

Developing your Personal Board: Let's start with the obvious. Your Personal Board of Directors might include: a doctor as a health/medical resource, a CPA for tax advice, an attorney for legal guidance, a banker for financial guidance and a priest/rabbi/deacon for spiritual support. Here are some of the less obvious: a sales and marketing professional, a public relations expert, a business coach, a child care specialist, a human resource professional, a webmaster for Internet guidance, a property management professional three levels above you, an executive in an unrelated industry to property management and/or a business owner in the property management industry but not a competitor, based on geography or your resident profile.

Tip From The Coach: Think of a Personal Board as your "inner circle", as each person on your Board will share in very important information about your personal and professional life. Carefully consider every individual you invite to be on your Personal Board, as they should be selected and remain on your Personal Board for the rest of your life. You can always make changes to the people on your Personal Board, but richness comes from working together during good times and bad. Like a great bottle of wine, proper "aging" of your Personal Board will give it fullness, maturity and increasing value.

Working with your Personal Board: Once you have formed your Personal Board, the next step is to make a list of the ways your Personal Board can assist and support your success. Some examples of professional and personal topics to discuss with your Personal Board: a new career, the start of a new business, advancement in your property management company, the relocation of your family for professional or personal reasons, how to handle a problem employee or supplier problem, life and legacy planning, your children and their development, financial planning, and the health of your marriage, just to name a few. You see, your Personal Board will be a rich resource to you in many ways, so long as you speak truthfully with them and are open to their specific advice and feedback.

Tip From The Coach: While your Personal Board can give you powerful guidance and suggestions, the final decision must always be yours. When making an important professional/personal decision, take a blank sheet of paper and list all the pros and cons surrounding the issue, then ask for and gather the feedback from your Personal Board. Next, write a brief summary statement to yourself explaining the reasons for your decision and store this sheet in a special place. Lastly, mark your calendar for some point in the future to evaluate the results of this important decision. A review of each important decision you make during your lifetime will help you evaluate your accuracy and clarity about the future. Remember, "perfect practice" makes for perfect decisions!

Communicating with your Personal Board: The next step is to decide how often you will meet with your Personal Board. For some, monthly is perfect, for others twice a year is great and many meet on a quarterly basis. The frequency is up to you and your Board members, but the frequency should depend on the velocity of issues or decisions you are making. Here are some examples of ways you can meet or communicate with your Personal Board: in person, by telephone, by teleconference as a group, by E-mail, by letter, by videoconference or during a nice meal. With today's menu of technology, the distance between you and your Personal Board members is no longer an issue. Instead, invite only the best to be on your Personal Board and allow technology to facilitate your communications.

Tip From The Coach: As you invite each member to participate on your Personal Board, be very clear about your expectations for each board member, the frequency you will meet or be in touch, and your request for pointed and honest feedback. After each person agrees to be on your Personal Board, discuss how they would like to be compensated for their time. In most cases, a trade or barter is done for goods or services, in many cases a small gift or favor is enough. If necessary, offer to pay a small fee to each board member, as the value of their feedback will be returned many times over.

Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions? Send an E-mail to and The Coach will E-mail back to you a free invitation to be a participant on a PowerHour conference call. On this call we will discuss how to form your Personal Board of Directors, in 30 days!

Author's note: Ernest F. Oriente, a business coach since 1995 [26,500 hours], a property management industry professional since 1988 - the author of SmartMatch Alliances - and the founder of PowerHour...[ and ], has a passion for coaching his clients on executive leadership, hiring and motivating property management SuperStars, traditional and Internet SEO/SEM marketing, competitive sales strategies, and high leverage alliances for property management teams and their leaders. He provides private and group coaching for property management companies around North America, executive recruiting, investment banking, national real estate and apartment building insurance [ ], SEO/SEM web strategies, national WiFi solutions [ ], and powerful tools for hiring property management SuperStars and building dynamic teams. Ernest worked for Motorola, Primedia and is certified in the Xerox sales methodologies. Recent interviews and articles have appeared more than 6500 times in business and trade publications and in a wide variety of leading magazines and newspapers, including Smart Money, Inc., Business 2.0, The New York Times, Fast Company, The LA Times, Fortune, Business Week, Self Employed America and The Financial Times. Since 1995, Ernest has written 178 articles for the property management industry and created 250+ property management forms, business and marketing checklists, sales letters and presentation tools. To subscribe to his free property management newsletter go to: PowerHour® is based in Olympic-town…Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail or visit their website:

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