Access Leadership Board Preparedness


Phone: 703-993-2109

Fax: 703-993-2121 - Access Leadership Board Preparedness

Diversity in the boardroom has become a top priority for many businesses. The Washington Business Journal’s May 8th edition has an excellent article that includes a mention of Mason’s exciting new Board Preparedness program.

The Access Leadership Board Preparedness Program is designed to prepare and promote more women and minority executives to serve as board directors. This program will increase participant’s knowledge, skills, abilities and confidence to serve as board directors and expand their opportunities to get seated.

The McCormick Group Inc. Executive Search Consulting

Board Recruiters from The McCormick Group

  • MEET with local board recruiters
  • PLAN your path to becoming a corporate or non-profit board member
  • NETWORK with C-Suite professionals
  • RECEIVE complimentary membership to Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative

To register please download and complete the registration form.

If paying by credit card please fax the completed form to 703-993-2121.

If paying by check please send the completed form along with your payment to:
Mason Learning Solutions
3351 N. Fairfax Drive, MSN 2G2
Arlington, VA 22201

To receive the group discount, please download and complete a registration form for each participant.

For questions please contact:
Barbara Agan, Client Services Manager, George Mason Learning Solutions,, 703-993-8275.

The Access Leadership Board Preparedness Program consists of seven modules:

Module 1: Board Dynamics

  • Why serving is important – roles and marketplace: grounded in reality of current climate – why this program was created?
  • Introduce Board Source Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards
  • Board service requirements and expectations – who’s writing the check?
  • Different board types, their different focus and what they are looking for in seating directors: public, private, non-profit
  • Fundraising, networking, and visibility
  • From a board placement professional perspective
  • From a board chair/president perspective
  • From a board member perspective
  • Aligning who you are and what you care about with the board work you’re interested in. Making the right choices -- putting your personal strengths and values to work on the right board (SVSS – Strengths Values Stories Survey)
  • Participants determine their personal agenda/goal for participating in this program. Coding/coloring assignments distributed for future small group work. Regular Agenda Checks will ask participants if their goals change as they work through the program
  • Personal Strategic Board Placement Plan template introduced
  • Module 1 – My Board Plan – Power Mapping MY board seat targets – 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, 10 year

Module 2: Board Governance Models

  • Boardroom fundamentals
  • Governance best practices
  • Board governance models: public, private, non-profit
  • Understanding board procedures and processes
  • Understanding board recruiting and the value of this position
  • Importance of executive compensation
  • BoardSource Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards
  • Module 2 – My Board Plan – For the boards I am aiming for – What areas of governance do I need to learn more/ study more about in order to be relevant and stand out amongst my peers? Hit the ground running/up to speed.

Module 3: Financial Acumen and Stewardship

  • Finance, P&Ls, balance sheet, insurance
  • Financial ratios and strategic decision making
  • Financial stewardship
  • From a financial/CPA’s perspective: basic financial reports (balance sheet, income statement, P&L)
  • From a treasurer’s perspective: credit card payments, fundraising receipts
  • From a legal perspective: tax returns, disclosures, ethics
  • Public company scenarios: banking relationships, line of credit, depository accounts
  • Private company scenarios: private equity, venture capital, banking relationships, line of credit
  • Non-profit scenarios: No CPA firm employees as treasurer (violation of independence)
  • Module 3 - My Board Plan – What areas of finance, treasury, tax reporting do I need to learn more/study more about in order to be relevant and stand out amongst my peers? Who can I align myself with as a mentor if I need help? What areas am I good at if this is not my specialty – what boards am I targeting that have a strong team that compliments my weaknesses?

Module 4: Facilitative Leadership and Coaching

  • Leading board transformation through effective collaboration and negotiation
  • Leading board transformation through effective collaboration and negotiation
  • Learning the leadership roles of a board director: Coach, Team Leader, Change Agent
  • Understanding group dynamics and high performing teams versus empowered teams. Basic dynamics of forming, storming, norming, performing.
  • Dealing with constructive conflict through appreciative inquiry
  • Presenting a dissenting opinion collaboratively
  • Avoiding personal agenda driving decision making
  • Tapping the power of participation: understanding and practicing the skills of a facilitative leader
  • Polarity Thinking – understanding the power of optimizing the upsides of opposing poles, learning how to map polarities and optimize their upsides on a continuum
  • Module 4 – My Board Plan – Initial Bio Preparation – For the boards I am aiming for what skills, abilities, interests, and accomplishments do I have that will be useful for my target groups? Making yourself relevant.

Module 5: Adopting a Strategic Mindset

  • Understand what it means to think and behave like an owner – building, maintaining, and refining a long-term mindset
  • Understanding your board's core mission and your role to provide strong oversight and strategic support for management's effort to create long-term value
  • Getting a deep functional knowledge of the dynamics of your board's industry
  • Understanding business models, how firms typically create value, and what it takes to capture value-creation opportunities
  • Understanding how to assess an organization's long-term strategy
  • Understand how to participate effectively in strategic conversations
  • Crisis Management Communications
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Implementing values based decision making
  • Module 5 - My Board Plan – Bio feedback and final bio prep. Board interview preparation – communicating skills, abilities, and interests to the boards I am aiming for.

Module 6: Effective Communications

  • Understanding the important role of community and civic involvement and leadership
  • Moving from a resume to a bio. Create your board profile: Utilize the SVSS instrument to write your personal values based board bio
  • Understand social media strategy, professional head-shot taken
  • Finding your voice: Create your executive presence and elevator speech
  • Use of self: self awareness and putting your authentic best self forward. Determine areas of further learning/self awareness.
  • Presentation skills: understand and be able to successfully articulate mission, vision, and values of the board you represent
  • Speaking on behalf of the organization as a board member
  • Create a strategy to advance your board work: identify a target audience, craft the message, deliver the message through multiple communication vehicles
  • Module 6 – My Board Plan – For the boards I am aiming for how should I communicate my skills, abilities, and interests around board work vs- employment and career interview. Questions to ask recruiters, questions to ask board members. Prepare a board member pitch statement.

Module 7: Recruiter Panel and Interviews

  • Best practices recruiter panel interview
  • Real-time board interviews
  • 2-4 board interviews per person (30 min each)
  • Refine personal strategic plan based on interviews
  • Closing Ceremony and Celebration

Participants will increase their board director acumen by developing an understanding of the diverse array of boards, board roles, and responsibilities, and other core activities that boards undertake.

Participants will:

  • Determine their unique board voice and which board profile best suits their values and strengths
  • Understand fundamentals of board governance models
  • Understand financial terms, documents and the stewardship of finances including fundraising
  • Understand and practice how to communicate appropriately and effectively in the boardroom and in the public eye
  • Build their board profile and a networking strategy with a board position in mind
  • Experience board recruiter interviews and personal coaching to enhance their effectiveness and success in getting placed

In order to receive a certificate of completion, participants must achieve an 80% or better attendance record. Successful participants will be awarded 4.0 CEUs (Continuing Education Units).

The target audience for this course is a broad mixture of senior-level executives with over ten years of professional experience who represent a diversity of thought, experiences, industries, and backgrounds.The course is designed to create a well-rounded picture of development for an individual to explore their interests, strengths, and role on a board.

Please click here for a list of our instructors.

Schedule & Print Registration
Download Syllabus
Download Flyer

Dates: July 24-28, 2017

Time: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Location: George Mason University, Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, Room TBD

Fee: $5,600


  • © George Mason University Learning Solutions
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Facebook