"Since 1991, I have worked with young people in over 70 countries. Once they understand the problems, once we listen to their voices, once we empower them to act, their energy and determination is amazing. They are our greatest hope for the future. We must encourage them to believe in themselves and grow into leaders in their chosen way of life. This includes a position in the boardroom. My advice to anyone reading Paul’s much-needed book is, “never give up”. Changing the world takes persistence, passion and purpose, as well as a belief in yourself." - Jane Goodall PhD, DBE Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
"Finally, a book that answers not only the 'how-to' of getting a board seat but asks the reader to truly understand why they would bother taking on the responsibility that follows and what kind of legacy they want to leave. The world is craving leadership at every level. If you want to be tomorrow's leader, please read Right Seat, Right Table." - Cassandra Kelly Tech Entrepreneur, Board Director, Adviser & Speaker 2017 Top 10 Chair in Australia 2015 US Director to Watch
"Put simply, Paul is the reason I have a boardroom career. He helped me understand my unique value and gave me the courage to seek (and achieve) my first non-executive board role at the age of 29. Without Future Directors, I would have had no idea where to start. As a media professional, I wasn’t sure I “fit the mould” or had anything to offer. But Paul helped me see the opposite was true and now I’m deputy chair of a major not-for profit. With this book, a board career might not be as far out of reach as you think." - Hannah Stenning Media Professional and Non-Executive Director, Delta Society
"It should concern all shareholders and stakeholders that the pool of director talent is relatively small, reinforcing the status quo and the unconscious biases of what a boardroom should look like. If we are to expect increased impact and returns from society’s organizations, then we must also increase the size and diversity of the director talent pool to drive such change.
As an educator, mentor and thought leader, Paul Smith has not only built an impressive track record of developing and placing young and diverse people on boards, he is seeking to solve this problem.
My experience with the Future Directors Institute is that an abundance of talent and diversity exists outside the existing director pool, comparing favorably to the thousands of directors I have worked with over my career in the governance of public and private organizations. Many people could be fantastic directors but are not aware of the opportunity to contribute and how to pursue such a career. Right Seat, Right Table is a catalyst to inspire change." - Aaron Bertinetti Senior Vice President, Glass Lewis
"Paul is an exceedingly passionate advocate for diversity on boards and leadership teams. His passion stems from the belief that a lack of diversity stifles creative innovation, new world problems are not usually solved by old world solutions. Through establishing Future Directors, Paul’s taking a practical approach to changing the status quo, by giving people from a range of diverse age groups and professional backgrounds a roadmap to identifying their board career goals and how to achieve them. This book is a great first step to planning that journey and kick-starting a board career." - Gaya Byrne Non-Executive Director, The Royal Women’s Hospital Foundation
BOARDROOMS are experiencing major transformation and disruption as we transition into a world that demands greater transparency, digitalization and social accountability. The old ways of doing business are becoming less relevant.
DIRECTORS now need different skills, a sense of purpose and capabilities that far exceed being well connected and experienced. There is an increasing demand for a new type of board member to help govern companies and organizations in the 21st century.
But, where will the next generation of directors come from? And, how do you become a non-executive board director, especially if you consider yourself an ‘outsider’?
RIGHT SEAT, RIGHT TABLE offers a practical yet inspiring ‘how-to’ guide for getting a seat in the contemporary boardroom. In the book, you’ll:
• Follow a proven and universal methodology for finding and securing your ideal (first) board role.
• Be inspired by the impactful boardroom journeys of people just like you.
• Understand how to overcome the challenges faced by new directors trying to make a difference.
• Ultimately learn what it takes to become an effective, successful, and influential non-executive board director.
Paul Smith is co-founder and CEO of the Future Directors Institute. His business has empowered, trained, and supported hundreds of “outsiders” into their ideal boardrooms. He started his own governance career at a relatively young age and is now an experienced non-executive director and chairperson. He is also a coach, board advisor, international keynote speaker, and host of the popular podcast, Boardroom Hustle.