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Directors' responsibilities  |  First-time NEDs

Top NED tips from a NED & entrepreneur


Robert Clarke is a portfolio NED and entrepreneur.  We asked him what his top three pieces of advice are to being a successful non-executive director.


How did your first non-executive role come about?

After successfully managing an exit from my own company – I thought I knew a thing or two and wanted to pass on knowledge and experience – good and bad. I was asked by a VC to step in and assist a start-up that they couldn’t “work out”. There was a lot of talent present but they needed direction.


What role does a non-executive director have on the board?

A NED is a Director just like any other on the board so has a vote and has the same fiduciary responsibility. I personally like to challenge the exec element as far as possible even if it is not popular, and ensure they are thinking through every key decision.


What should a new non-executive director do when they first join a company?

BEFORE a NED joins a company they should understand the risks associated with joining and that this is not a short term gig. It’s time consuming, and should be a passion, not a chore.


Please share with us your top 3 pieces of advice to being a successful non-executive director

  • Challenge everything;
  • Champion your firms;
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin


To develop further your knowledge and skills and qualify as a professional NED, please visit our training page and register your attendance to upcoming events.

For those new to the NED role, we encourage you to visit the NED Accelerator course page. The NED Accelerator Programme is a dedicated training course to fast track your transition to non-executive directorship.