Board Director Opportunities: Understanding Time Commitment

Published on August 12, 2023

When considering the rewarding path of board service, there are many things to consider beyond how you can contribute your expertise to discussions and guide a company's strategic direction. One essential component is careful evaluation of the time commitment that each board opportunity entails. A complete picture of the time required is crucial to understand if you can realistically fit it into your life as a dedicated and effective director.

How To Assess The Time Commitment

Every company and its board are unique, and time expectations vary significantly. For starters, there are often big differences in the time demands for public and private companies (public company directors usually spend more time on board obligations). However, some private company boards function very similarly to public company boards. When evaluating board opportunities, asking pertinent questions concerning the time commitment will help you gain clarity on board meeting frequency and duration, ensuring alignment with your schedule and responsibilities.

Additionally, consider the locations of these gatherings and the impact of travel on your schedule. Also inquire about the expectations of serving on a committee. If it's required, what is the frequency and length of the committee meetings -- and do you select the committee, or is it decided for you? Note that they vary in their time commitments as well; serving on the audit committee typically requires more time than the nominating committee, for instance.

Be proactive and learn about other mandatory events, such as strategic planning sessions or annual conference dates that may require your attendance. Find out about expectations surrounding availability for unscheduled meetings and phone calls too. Some boards only have them when dealing with crises while others have them frequently.

Don’t forget that when considering the commitment, you will also need to block out time to review board materials before meetings (if you’re a new board director, note that it’s not an hour of light reading!) You also need time to meet with fellow directors, the CEO and perhaps some members of the leadership team.

Ambiguity Is A Red Flag

After a thorough assessment, if the time commitment remains unclear or appears inconsistent, this should raise a red flag. Ambiguity in this area can lead to unexpected demands on your schedule, potentially hindering your ability to contribute optimally. Clear up any doubts so you know exactly what you're signing up for.

As you embark on becoming a board director, evaluating the time commitment involved is of utmost importance. Each board opportunity is unique, so asking detailed questions is essential. Remember, clarity in time commitment is a key indicator of a well-structured and successful board opportunity.

Related Resources

Board Director Branding Guide

Branding Services For New and Current Board Directors

More Insights
Blog CTA - Point Road Group does branding differently. | Point Road Group
Blog CTA: Tell your story with impact. | Point Road Group

Branding Insights In Your Inbox.


We Can Help.

Contact Us
1991 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10023
(212) 869-1000[email protected]