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如何进入董事会?

2014-07-21    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

大多数公司仍然按老路子招募董事:熟人推荐,但也有其它方法在董事会谋得一席之地。

Dear Annie: I read your recent column on how to get noticed by executive recruiters, which is actually how I got my current job a few years ago, but does the same advice apply to attracting headhunters who fill board seats? I am a chief financial officer at a medium-sized private company and have served on a couple of nonprofit boards, including one for a national organization, but I haven't yet cracked the code for getting asked to join a corporate board. I understand this has traditionally been a matter of "who you know," including who your golfing buddies are. Is that still true in this day and age? Do you (or your readers) have any inside tips on how to be considered for a directorship? — Ready and Waiting
亲爱的安妮:我拜读了你最近的专栏,文章讨论了引起高管猎头注意的方法,恰好和我几年前找到现有职位的方法不谋而合,那么同样的建议是否适用于吸引那些董事猎头呢?我是一家中型非上市公司的首席财务官,同时还担任着若干非盈利组织的董事,其中还有一个是全国性的组织,但我还没找到被邀请出任公司董事的诀窍。我知道通常这就是一个人脉关系的问题,甚至于谁是你的高尔夫球友都很重要。都什么年代了,现在还是这个老套路吗?你(或者你的读者)知道如何成为董事候选人的内部诀窍吗?— 随时待命

Dear R.W.: You've chosen an interesting moment to ask, since many companies claim they're having trouble finding enough board candidates who are both qualified and willing. That's partly because federal laws and regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, have made board membership more demanding and time-consuming than it used to be.
亲爱的随时待命:你提这个问题的时机很有意思,因为现在有很多公司都抱怨说找不到既胜任又有意愿的董事候选人。部分原因是由于包括萨班斯-奥克斯利法案、多德-弗兰克法案在内的联邦法和监管条例改革,董事职位比以前要求更高、更费时费力。

So this may be a good moment to go after a spot on a corporate board. In general, it does matter what kind of nonprofit board experience you have. "Anyone who wants to join a corporate board would do well to start with membership in the board of a health care or hospital system," says Ralph Ward, editor and publisher since 1997 of the newsletter Boardroom Insider. "With all the consolidation going on in health care now, those boards are dealing with huge budgets, and with complex financial and strategic issues, that are very similar to what corporate directors have to tackle."
所以现在可能是在公司董事会谋求一席之地的大好时机。总的来说,你在什么样的非盈利组织担任董事也很重要。“如果早先在健保或者医院系统担任董事,它将对加入公司董事会大有帮助。”拉尔夫•沃德自1997年以来一直担任电子邮件杂志《董事会线报》(Boardroom Insider)的编辑和出版人,他认为:“在健保行业的兼并浪潮中,董事会要处理巨额预算以及复杂的财务和战略问题,与公司董事的任务非常类似。”

Since you mention that you got your current job through a headhunter, get in touch with that person. "Some recruiters do specialize in finding board members, but a better way to go is to work through an executive recruiter you already know, even if directorships are outside his or her usual area," says Ward. "A referral from someone who is already a fan of yours is much more likely to get you somewhere than 'cold calling' a recruiter who knows nothing about you."
你提到,你当初是通过猎头找到现在这份工作,不妨再和他联系联系。“确实有些猎头的专长是延揽董事,但通过熟识的高管猎头效果会更好,就算他/她没有从事过延揽董事方面的业务,”沃德说。“贸然联系一位素不相识的猎头远远不如从很欣赏你的人得来的推荐要管用。”

At the same time, getting picked for a board seat is still, as you note, largely a matter of knowing the right people who are already on boards, so be ready to do some serious targeted networking. "First, identify which board, or boards, you'd like to join," suggests Mark Rogers, a Boston attorney who runs BoardProspects, an online service aimed at matching qualified candidates with openings. "Then find ways to connect with the people on them, a few of whom you may already know indirectly through your nonprofit activities."
同时就像你说的,要想被挑选做董事,多数时候仍然需要认识在任的董事们,所以要努力做些有针对性的联络工作。“首先,确定哪个或哪几个董事会是你中意的,”马克•罗杰斯如此建议,这位波士顿的律师经营的服务网站BoardProspects致力于为合格的候选人和董事空缺实现对接。“然后想方设法结交这些董事会的在任董事,其中有些人说不定在你的非盈利组织活动中已经间接认识了。”

Be patient, Rogers advises: "It may take a year or two for the right opportunity to come along. This is a long process." Social media may speed things up a bit. "Do some research into governance-related groups on LinkedIn," Ralph Ward suggests. "Find the most active ones, and join them. Participating in discussions, chiming in with comments and insights, ,can get you noticed."
一定要耐心,罗杰斯说:“也许要过个一两年,合适的机会才会到来。这是一个漫长的历程。”社交媒体也许会让这个过程提速。“研究一下对商务社交网站LinkedIn上的公司治理小组,”沃德建议。“找到其中是最活跃的小组,申请加入。然后参与讨论,时不时做点评论,发表见解,也许就会有人注意到你。”

He adds that "there's also a lot of governance-related tweeting going on. So get your name out there. Look up 'corporate governance' or 'corporate boards' on Twitter and start following people you find that way. It takes an investment of time, but it does often result in being tapped for a board seat."
他还说:“Twitter上也有很多涉及公司治理的讨论。要积极参与。在Twitter上搜索‘公司治理’或者‘公司董事会’,开始关注搜到的相关人等。确实要投入不少时间,但确实经常有这样被挑中做董事的情况。”

Don't neglect to mention to your boss that you're doing this. "Often the biggest obstacle people face is getting their bosses' okay. Directorships are time-consuming and, especially in rough economic times, CEOs usually hesitate to let their C-level people take on outside commitments," Ward says. "They want your full attention focused on your day job."
同时别忘了和老板打个招呼。“通常人们面临的最大障碍就是得到老板的同意。担任董事耗费时间,特别是在经济形势困难时期,老板不想让自己手下的高管为外部事务分神。”沃德说。“他们希望你全力以赴投入到日常工作中。”

It might help if you can make the case that a particular directorship is likely to make you even better at the work you're already doing -- perhaps by letting you rub elbows with potential new customers, or giving you broader experience with long-range financial planning.
如果能说服老板,让他相信某个特别的董事职位很可能让你更加胜任现有的工作,则会有所帮助。至于理由,可以说帮助你结识潜在的新客户,或者通过长远的财务安排来丰富自己的经验。

If all this sounds daunting, it is. But once you've been picked for one board seat, Ward says, "you'll go from famine to feast. Getting on your first board is tough. After that, you'll probably get more offers than you can handle."
如果这些事情听起来令人望而却步,实际上确实是这么回事。不过一旦你被选中担任某个董事,沃德说:“你就从饥荒直接跨越到盛宴了。第一份董事职位总是最难得到的。以后,收到的邀请会多得让你应接不暇。”

That was Mark Rogers' experience: Within a year of snagging his first directorship, he was tapped for five more. He started BoardProspects, he says, because "while I was still looking for my first seat, I ran across so many qualified, talented people who were looking, too. There just was no direct, efficient way for us to connect to the boards that had openings to fill."
马克•罗杰斯就曾经有过这样的遭遇:在得到第一个董事职位的一年之内,他就收到另外五个邀请。至于他创建BoardProspects的原因,如他所述:“在我寻找第一个董事位置的过程中,我遇到了很多志同道合的聪明人,他们都能胜任董事工作。就是没有直接有效的方法可以联系到有职位空缺的董事会。”

Good luck.
祝你好运。(向Anne提问)



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