Who is on your Life's Board of Directors?
UPDATE: Share this URL! http://lifesboardofdirectors.com and tell YOUR support network about this idea!
My good friend Luvvie, a humor blogger, recently tweeted this in response to some goodness in her life:
Everyone needs a life board of directors. A group of people [who] mentor you and help you find direction. You form one organically.— OluLuvvie AdeRatchet (@Luvvie) June 5, 2012
Luvvie and I have talked about this before and even assembled board of directors for ourselves, have suggested the idea to friends, acquaintances and even a few real-life famous people. My friend Adria Richards has "Team Adria" for example, and reaches out when life gets exciting and confusing.
The idea is of a board of directors is such a simple one but it's truly life changing when put to work.
My wife and I talk a little about mission statements in the context of marriage in our (perpetually) upcoming book on Relationship Hacks. Here's a quote from our as-of-yet-unfinished book:
And so we sat down to develop a mission statement. Historically the idea of a mission statement has been associated with religious groups, guiding missionaries on their religious missions by giving them specific principles they can hold on to. In recent times most people are familiar with the concept of a mission statement in a corporate context.
Using the definition of "mission statement" from Wikipedia - the source of all geek wisdom until it's edited by someone else - and we'll replace the words company or organization with marriage. If you're not married, of course adjust the paragraph to your preference.
A formal, short, written statement of the purpose of a marriage. The mission statement should guide the actions of the marriage, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the marriage's strategies are formulated."
Take a moment and drink that in, as Scott likes to say. That seems like a totally reasonable thing to do doesn't it? I mean, you agonize about your vows for weeks, why not take an evening and write a mission statement? Why do so few people work for months to plan home purchases, months deciding where they live, what car to buy, but don't create guiding principles for the next 50 years of your life?
Companies have mission statements and a Board of Directors. Your life is pretty important. Why not create a Life Board of Directors to help you through it? Pick 2 to 5 of your friends. Not necessarily your closest friends, but friends that are close enough where you can really confide but not so close that they can't see the big picture. Email them one a month, once a quarter or "once a crisis." Ask them for advice, lean on them, trust them and help them as well.
Assemble "Team You" and use your team to brainstorm directions and implementations of big decisions like moving to New York, or changing your business's direction, starting a new venture, or getting fit.
Use your personal Board of Directors as one of the compasses in your life. You've got family, friends, perhaps faith, hobbies, values, etc. Add your Team to this list of personal compasses.
It might sound like a silly mind game, but that's common with many hacks. Hacks feel insignificant but can have huge effects. The trick is to remember that it is a hack - you're hacking yourself. The idea of life's board of directors is a relationship hack meant to remind you in difficult times that you can agree on something fundamental and you have a team to support you in your endeavors. Set a direction and head in that direction with the confidence you've got a supportive group behind you.
Go assemble your Life's Board today.