Why endorsements matter

How to get endorsed non-executive director

Think about yourself as a brand.  Every successful brand will experience the positive effect of endorsement, but only a small fraction of companies every pay for them. The same is true in business.  And if you are serious about your non-executive or board advisory career, you should be seeking this magic dust!

Think about it; people are not willing to put their names to something that’s not good or is sub-par. One of the best ways to gain endorsements in life is to do great work. It sounds like common sense – and it is! If you’re a website designer, your artwork must unique and effective and if you’re a roofer, well, you get the idea!

So in your non-executive director work, are you producing something that is worthy of endorsement?

And don’t forget the emotional connection. Do you make the kind of connections that compel people to endorse you?

It is rare that quality alone will compel someone to endorse you and the work you do for them. Whilst they may approve, it’s unlikely they will jump on various review sites or Google and promote you. For me, it is something beyond a “job well done” that compels me to spend my time and relational capital to promote a product or a service.

A common mistake is believing that the quality of your work (or advice) is enough.  It takes more to receive true advocacy.

Only a fool would forget to repay the favours!  If your name holds sway, use your endorsement to help others; this can have a real impact on others’ professional success. I know that I have done it many times throughout my professional career – giving endorsements to those lawyers, accountants and others who are climbing the corporate ladder.  I know for a fact that the time I have taken to do so has paid dividends over the years (literally and metaphorically!)

How about this for a little challenge; think about someone you can and are happy to promote and lend them your name and reputation.  It will come back to you in spades. Be cognisant of how you can help others in your professional networks and take some time to provide endorsements more often.

Whilst we are on different paths and at different stages of our professional careers, we each have the opportunity to help one another move forward.  After all, isn’t that a core part of what a non-executive is there to do?


Ian Wright is a leading authority on non-executive directors. He is the Founder and CEO of Virtualnonexecs.com – the UK’s largest peer-2-peer community of NEDs.


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