The Power of a Board of Directors


What's a "chummery", and why do we need one?

A Personal Board of Directors is a small group of 3-7 people comprised of family, friends, and/or colleagues who are willing to give you input, honest feedback, inspiration and encouragement over time as you go on your Halftime Journey.

Why do Halftimers need a Personal Board of Directors?

For years now, the Halftime Institute has noticed that people who transition from success to significance in the “healthiest” way have regular input from people who have been specifically asked to provide it. This is different from having a mentor but both are important.

I think my greatest challenge in allowing my Personal Board to provide truly valuable insights has been that it requires vulnerability and intimacy on my part. After all, this is not a business board of directors helping you analyze your organization’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. But stepping into this deeper conversation will pay huge dividends because it will force you to look at your tendencies, thought patterns, and fears. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll get better insight on what your next steps should be along the way.

Mike Samp’s Personal Experience

Mike spent his entire first half in a major manufacturing company and rose to become a senior executive. When the company culture and politics changed his career unexpectedly, he did two things: he looked for expert help from us at the Halftime Institute and he built a Personal Board. The Halftime Institute enabled him to put the basic building blocks together for his second half.  A Halftime coach helped him flesh out the plan.  But his Personal Board has and is providing the wisdom and accountability to actually live it out.

Mike’s passion is servant leadership. It’s largely why he was successful in his first half. So he has built a fascinating portfolio of roles around his emerging mission statement, using his new company, Second Half Servants LLC, with the tag line “Equipping Global Servant Leaders.” Everything he does surrounds this.

With Mike’s permission I want to share a small portion of an email he sent me to an inquiring friend about his Personal Board

This group has proven to be a God-given resource of wisdom, strength and encouragement to me these past six months. I selected my wife Lori, my senior pastor, our two financial advisers and two close Christian friends. Obviously Lori knows me best and is walking this journey with me as my partner. My senior pastor is my closest spiritual advisor. Our financial advisers have helped re-plan our financial future. The two guy friends I asked to serve me are men of deep Christian faith. One is a long time friend, who retired from my same company ten years ago. He is a “Paul” in my life. The other is a relatively new friend I made. He owns his own business and we were drawn together because of a mutual need for a loving but courageous brother. He is the “Barnabas” in my life. We never have board meetings (way too corporate) but they all agreed to this role and to be available whenever needed.

William Wilberforce built a personal board of directors he called his “Chummery,” and, in his case, they did all meet regularly. With their assistance, he went forth to transform British society and abolish the institution of slavery. He could never have had such a massive impact if he had pursued changing the world in the name of Christ as a soloist. So, who’s your “chummery?

By Lloyd Reeb

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