Congratulations on exiting your business (recruitment or other). A reason to celebrate indeed given how few manage this neat trick.
So, a heartfelt “nice one”!
You’ve now entered the upper echelons of the Business Hall of Fame. Your ‘moment of success’ has placed you within a ratified group of leaders. In fact, your Liam Neeson skill set has seen such acclaim that people dream of leveraging from your experience.
Your next role should be as an advisor, or even a NED! Or not…
The majority of advisors offer nothing but a profit vacuum – and trust me, I should know. Business success does not equal preaching prowess. Advising is a skill that needs to be developed and nurtured, it isn’t inherited, and one wrong move dismantles all the hard work before it.
Lately, I’ve seen a rise in these false prophets, so today I wanted to breakdown what it takes to be a valuable NED.
Leadership doesn’t equal teaching talent
Receiving board questions doesn’t translate to asking them. You can’t parrot queries you were once asked; you need to understand the context behind each question. It’s about having the foresight to see long-term implications of wider business decisions.
Helping a company you don’t know, define andrefine a plan requires a different methodology. I’m not diminishing overnight business success – you’re still a cut above the rest – but that doesn’t make you a guru.
Sure, a meaningful provenance can be your brand, and you’d be right in thinking that no one in their right mind would follow someone without believing they’re a catalyst for change. That said, think about how you can practicallyhelp someone progress.
Aspire to inspire
I’ve seen some ‘advisors’ make £35k for regurgitating the equivalent of fortune cookie wisdom. Others I’ve heard request three days a week (no seriously) to sit with your sales team to develop their ability.
Supporting the development of a team, is not the same as nurturing a boss. There are different dynamics at play, you’re not leading, you’re helping owners to express and develop strategy.
If you’re a quality NED, your aim is to make recruitment business owners ‘shift right’. Forget past victories, offer useful support wherever possible instead.
Know your service
Refine the exact offering you’re presenting to businesses. For instance, my bag is driving sustainable growth and gaining market share. Narrow your angle and confirm where in the journey they are. Whether that’s:
Once the business has legs, it’s easy to hook them up on exit or M & A trails. Just be confident in your area of expertise and help drive the industry forward.
Ultimately, if you’re all about the money, advising is the wrong move. NED’s are often short-term so don’t expect shares – you’ve done nothing to deserve them anyway.
Me, on the other hand, my services are half the market rate, but I live and breathe recruitment. And currently, I have countless roles and opportunities for enthusiastic individuals.