Sharon Ranson is one of our Corporate Director Members and President of The Ranson Group – Executive Coaching Boutique. Sharon shared advice and insight on how to transition smoothly into your role on a Board.

What tips could you share with our members that helped make your transition from being an executive to leading and serving as a Corporate Director?

It’s really about developing your network, meeting people, and hearing about opportunities. Try to think of the skills you have that are relevant to the board that you want to join. Then package those skills in a way that will allow boards to see your value.

How do you mentor and support other women who are on Boards?

I spend time developing relationships with other women board members and get to know them as individuals. Sometimes that means asking them out to lunch and talking about where they are and what direction they want to take. Networking and making introductions is also important. I believe women need to support each other.

Do you take time outside the Boardroom to get to know the senior management team? If so, describe the unique contributions you have made.

In life, there are a lot of things you can delegate, but you can’t delegate relationships. I spend time getting to know the senior management team at dinners and other events. I take a personal interest in the people I work with. Inside the boardroom decisions are formalized, but outside the boardroom is where you cultivate relationships.

How do you ensure you use the “Nose-in, Fingers out” policy as a Corporate Director?

It’s important to remember that you are not on the board to run the business, just to oversee it. However, there are times when you need to roll up your sleeves and get involved when the organization doesn’t have enough support to make things happen. The biggest challenge is to strike a balance.