I recently read an article about choosing your own board of directors; not for a company but for your own use.  Imagine this.  You choose a board of directors that’s only mission is to support you and give sound advice.  For instant, you’re having a bad day, everything seems to be going wrong; your car won’t start, you’re late for work, you have a headache, your boss is demanding you finish a report by the end of the day…etc.  This is when you take a deep breath and call a meeting of your board of directors.  Here is where it gets fun!  Your imagination takes over and you begin to daydream, sharing with your board all the “situations” you are dealing with.  Who would be on your board, what would they tell you?

I’ve decided I have a large board of directors made up of some people who are living and some who aren’t.  I just added to my board the poet, educator, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou.  She sits next to Mahatma Gandhi, and Napoleon Bonaparte.  I know the last two are completely different, but I felt I needed a balance. Plus, Napoleon has a healthy ego and doesn’t let anyone bother him.  He is completely supportive and tells me to TAKE CHARGE and KICK ASS.  I also have Margaret Dodd on my board.  Margaret, who is a life-long friend, reminds me that I can do anything and everything I set my mind to.  She told me once, while describing herself, “I don’t allow myself to think I can’t do something.  I always say I can, it just might take longer than I want it to, and I have the choice of hiring it done.”  That stuck with me.

This past week I called an emergency board meeting after finishing a conference call with a very well known New York publicist, who I admit intimidates me. We are both presenting on a panel this Spring in New York about the changing role of public relations practitioners.  I really want her to like me.  She is very sweet, but there is something about her that makes me second-guess myself. 

We are on the phonediscussing the conference and she says something brilliant.  I try to respond but my mind goes blank.  I can’t think of a thing to say.  There is silence….it grows longer…I have to say something.  I begin to talk and nothing comes out the way I want it to.  I forget the word I want to use which makes me forget the entire point.  I feel like an idiot.  As soon as the call is over I think, “OMG, she isn’t going to want me on the panel, I can’t even talk on the phone.” 

Immediately I call in my board! Dr. Angelo tells me I’m brilliant and nothing that comes from my mouth is horrible.  She reminds me that this agent wouldn’t be on the panel if she thought I was incompetent.  Gandhi tells me to relax and know that I can handle this,Napoleon tells me I’m in charge and she should be intimidated by me.  Margaret says, “Forget it, she did.”  

I laugh to myself and wonder, “does anyone else play such silly games?”  It doesn’t matter. It works for me and my board of directors!

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