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Leading-Edge Stewardship: Getting There and Doing it Well

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The Journey to Becoming a Leading-Edge Steward

Stanford Women on Boards is committed to helping individuals at all levels of professional experience to increase their readiness for the boardroom and expand their influence when serving on boards. As such, Stanford Women on Boards has developed an on-demand series to help participants on their journey to becoming Leading-Edge Stewards.

Program Overview

This module introduces the on-demand series that can be accessed by our members be they undergrads, recent graduates or current board members and board leaders. 

1. Understand the fundamentals of how boards work and the responsibilities of board members

The first step to becoming a Leading-Edge Board Steward is education. It is essential to understand the purpose of boards, how they work, and the fiduciary responsibilities of board members. 

This section comprises two modules: Board Fundamentals (Corporate) and Board Fundamentals (Nonprofit). These modules are best suited for leaders looking to refine their understanding of boards or those with limited exposure to boards in their careers thus far.

2. Evaluate your current position in your board journey and recognize the unique value you contribute

Once you have grasped the fundamentals of boards, the next step is to evaluate your readiness to serve on a board. By cultivating self-awareness regarding your current strengths and identifying potential areas for improvement, you can proactively take steps to address any gaps. To facilitate this process, Stanford Women on Boards offers a dedicated self-assessment tool tailored to guide leaders through this reflective journey.

This section features a single module: Assessing Your Readiness. This module will help you understand the type of board that you could contribute to immediately and what skills you need to reach a board you aspire to.

3. Secure a position on a board, aligning your skills and interests with a suitable opportunity 

After identifying your readiness level and target board service, you are ready to begin your board search. This involves crafting your board bio, actively seeking out opportunities, and navigating the interview process. 

This section comprises three modules: Creating Your Board BioLetting the Right People Know, and Choosing and Being Chosen. Tailored for leaders who have confirmed their skills and experiences through the self-assessment tool, these modules serve as practical guides to help you effectively pursue board opportunities.

4. Cultivate the skills necessary to excel as a director and contribute effectively to board dynamics

Upon securing a board seat, you commence the journey of board service. It begins with your rookie year and progresses as you evolve into a high-performing board member.

This section comprises two modules: Your Rookie Year, and Leading-Edge Stewardship: Becoming an Outstanding Director. The first module is for those joining a board for the first time. The second module is for anyone seeking to enhance their influence in the boardroom. Leveraging the personal roadmap, developed by Stanford Women on Boards as part of the Leading-Edge Stewardship series, these modules provide guidance and strategies for navigating the complexities of board service and fostering leadership excellence.

5. Enable your board to achieve Leading-Edge Stewardship

A high-performing board is a team that is grounded in purpose, strategic, adaptive, and responsible for the long-term health of the organization. To achieve this requires a commitment to excellence and alignment among board members.

This section features a single module: Leading-Edge Stewardship: Building a High-Performing Board. This module is best suited for individuals in leadership roles such as CEO, Chairs of the Board, Lead Directors, and Chairs of Board Committees. Leveraging the Leading-Edge Stewardship Rubric, crafted by Stanford Women on Boards as part of the Leading-Edge Stewardship series, it offers strategic insights and practical tools to enhance board performance and drive organizational success.

Meet the Faculty

Linda Riefler

Sue Siegel