Will you be on my board?

March 6, 2008 at 9:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday on her “Shifting Careers” blog, Times writer Marci Alboher suggested creating a board of directors for your life:

A personal board of directors is simply a collection of people who know you, are interested in your well-being, and have useful points of view. You consult with them on a regular basis -– say once every six months. It’s unlikely that you will assemble your board members in person, but you do assemble their perspectives.

The post suggests that you can think about the kind of advice you need and who can best provide it and then go after them, or make a list of the people who already provide you with good advice.  It also suggests to be sort of low-key about this (at first).  It might be kind of creepy to actually set up a “board.”

She’s formalizing something many of us do consciously and subconsciously all the time.  The chairwoman of my board, for example, would have to be my mother, of course, to whom I speak daily (at least!) about anything and everything.  I have my law-school sounding board, consisting of my law-school friends and a few professors (questions might range from:  “Do you think the mandatory graduation meeting is really mandatory?” to “When does BarBri start?” to “Can someone watch the baby while I meet with my professor?” to “What is a John Doe plaintiff?”).  I have a board of neighborhood moms (“Do you have a regular Saturday night babysitter?” “Can we squeeze in a Starbucks run before the afternoon nap?”).  I have my amazing cadre of Isis moms whom I met week three of the baby’s life (“How often are you pumping these days?” “Where can I find a non-mildew bathmat for the tub?” “Does anyone else want to kill their in-laws?”).  My sisters also weigh in daily on my personal life.  And, of course, there are my Princeton girls, who drag me through just about every question and crisis out there, from career to motherhood to friendship to fashion, and do so honestly, intelligently, and tactfully.  I wish I could incorporate them into a formal board with monthly (wine-fueled) meetings!  I’m not neglecting Tim, here, but because he’s kind of like the co-executive of my daily life anyway, he needs my outside counsel (for my sake!) as much as I.

You know what would also be nice?  A personal adviser — beholden only to you, and at your beck and call.  The New Yorker had a “Talk of the Town” blip this week (as did the Times, a few months ago), featuring the producer Brian Grazer and his “cultural attache,” whose job it is to set up weekly meetings between Grazer and interesting people.  The attache’s job also is to fly around on his private jet to Hawaii and Europe so as to be there to respond immediately to off-the-cuff inquiries (“What is a superdelegate?”)  Judging by his hair at any rate, Grazer seems like kind of a quirky guy.  But he’s certainly successful, and I actually think if you could deal with said quirkiness, this would be a cool job, if only because who has a personal cultural attache?!?!


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