A good NED advances the future of a business
Every board needs a good NED. Whilst non-executive directors are not in charge of day-to-day duties, they are vitally important to an organisation’s future because:
- Their role is to create long-range plans and policies that will be embedded for years to come and
- Their duty is to ensure the sustainable long-term success of the organisation on which board they serve.
A board of directors prioritises its values in order to select a non-executive director who will contribute his/her skills to the organisation.
Look for good character
Recruiters said the most important trait one could have to advance as a NED is character. Character goes beyond honesty and includes attributes such as the ability to get along with others, humour, leadership, being supportive and having an appropriate amount of seriousness.
Look for ability to absorb complex information to make decisions
High intelligence is necessary as a non-executive director will have to move quickly through a stack of subjects. There is some need on large boards for those with specific skills, like digital communication or another technical skill, but small corporations or charities would do better with a well-rounded person. Knowledge of corporate governance and a strong financial background do help.
Related post: What non-executive director skills are in high demand?
Be honest about your board’s weaknesses
It is important for a board to look honestly at what is lacking and seek out a person that fills that need. Look for someone that can work on his or her own, but is able to be a team player.
Whether you are looking to move up as a NED or looking for someone to fill a role, recruiters have said to focus on basic, solid qualities. No one is going to fulfil every need, but good candidates with core qualities can do the job well.
Written by Elise Perraud
If you are an organisation looking to appoint a non-executive director, please contact [email protected].
If you are an individual looking to transition to non-executive directorship, please visit the NED Accelerator page.