I didn’t set out to do it, but I think I now have a “Personal Board of Advisors.” And, it has been very helpful. These are people who:
- Know me very well
- Offer different points of view
- Have my best interests in my mind
- Don’t have a competing agenda
The group doesn’t meet all at once, but I connect regularly with each Advisor. Here is my Board:
- Fr. Philip Merdinger, with whom I chat about family life and spiritual topics.
- A group of friends that meets semi-monthly as a discussion group; all of us are parents, spouses and working in the private sector. It has been very helpful to have a group of other guys with whom I can compare notes, and also, enjoy a beer.
- My sister (more here). There’s something about a shared history that allows her to give me great feedback.
- A coach in Anne Cooke Mitchell. Here’s her blog post on “The Mind of a Professional Athlete.” We have coaches for sports, both amateur and sports. Why not for our own personal and professional development?
I didn’t know what coaching was until Anne asked me if I wanted to be her first beta client. I’m so glad I did, as I learned a ton. Anne graduated from Harvard College, became a successful VC, married, and now has three children. She brings to the table a very unique perspective.
Oh, and she also hikes out to California as a Board member of Xoom, an investment she made that went public, and her fellow fellow Board members include: Dick Kramlich (NEA), Roelof Botha (Sequoia), Matt Roberts (Open Table CEO) and Keith Rabois (previously, Square COO).
Anne over time decided to be an executive coach. She uses cutting-edge techniques that have been proven by neuroscience research to maximize personal growth.
My first experience with her was so valuable that I’ve decided to sign up for another round. And, get this: she is offering a free six-month coaching session to one lucky reader of this blog.
Why? Well, I asked her. She believes in “paying it forward” and recalled my blog posts about giving away free Red Sox tickets to a family in need and to a veteran (here and here, with a follow-up post here).
To apply for the one slot, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and answer the question: “Here’s what I want to get out of coaching.” Everything is kept confidential.
I think perpetual personal growth is key. For me, it has been very rewarding and fun. I fully believe that life is best lived as a team sport, with a personal group of advisors involved.