No News Is Not Good News! How To Win Non-Executive Director Roles

·3-min read

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works.

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What do searchlights do? We’ve all seen films set in prisons, or prisoner-of-war camps, where escapees are fleeing the powerful beams, desperate not to be spotted, or during the Blitz where they criss-cross the dark skies to seek out enemy planes. The point is, no-one - fugitive or Luftwaffe pilot - wishes to be seen. For visibility would often lead to a most unpleasant outcome.

In a metaphorical sense we still have a searchlight - the most powerful searchlight ever invented - but these days being illuminated by that most powerful beam isn’t something to be avoided at all costs - it’s to be sought after.

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Especially if you’re interested in a non-exec role.

The searchlight, of course, is Google.

The first thing companies do when looking at you as a potential non-exec is to seek information, and we all know where they look to compile that information. It therefore makes sense to enhance your searchability as much as you can. Let them see what you’ve done, how you’ve helped companies scale up or sell their business. But up till now, it’s not been guaranteed that the search beams will highlight all the information that’s out there and that you want them to see.

And that’s where you - and Virtualnonexecs.com - come in.

Imagine you’re an escaped convict (in a film, by the way!) and that searchlight is scouring the expanse of long grass beyond the prison compound. Would you:

  1. remain hidden deep in the grass

  2. stand up and wave your arms about?

Now imagine you’re interested in a non-exec role (in real life now!) and you know you have a track record of success that would be of interest to companies seeking exactly such expertise. Would you:

  1. do little to increase your profile on Google

  2. take advantage of a product that guarantees you are searchable and prominent for key search terms on Google?

Although a) and c) are (literally and metaphorically) the same answer, it’s clear that the scenarios are completely different, and what’s sensible in one case is folly in the other. Similarly, with b) and d).

To put it bluntly, you’d be a fool to choose b) and c).

Imagine the d) option, though! Every success you’ve been involved in; your finest articles; the value you’ve added to the businesses you’ve worked with - all guaranteed to shine in Google search. A search for “Non-Exec in the North West”, for instance, returns YOU at the top of the page.

It’s a passport to NED success!

Let’s be realistic: if you aren’t searchable online, you stand little or no chance of passing a critical part of any company’s due diligence.

But of course, if you prefer the long grass…

Metaphorically speaking!

Ian Wright is a leading authority on the non-executive director and board advisory recruitment space. He is the founder and CEO of Virtualnonexecs.com, a global peer-2-peer non-executive director platform with over 11,000 members who occupy 19,000+ board rooms.

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