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Assemble personal ?board? for life?s decisions
Wendee Crowley

In a perfect world, I walk into the boardroom and sense the assurance of a roomful of professionals. Anticipating the success of the meeting, the chairman, without hesitation, introduces the business at hand. Clearly our guidance is indispensable in leading the boss and the business to the highest level of success.

If only it worked that way with the business decisions in our personal lives. Just like a business, each of us needs a personal board of directors. When a major, "personal boardroom" decision looms, we need experts to guide us. But who’s standing in the wings to advise us in the boardroom of life?

Most of us do have a complete team of personal assistants we have assembled over the years -- our accountants, attorneys, bankers, insurance agents and investment managers -- and they can be just the team we look to in overcoming life’s everyday dilemmas.

If we’re smart, we choose those advisors who have proven expertise and consult them often to help make important decisions and to ensure our personal success.

But it’s your job to manage this process and shape their roles as counselors, confidants and partners. Some tips to ensure this group truly helps you succeed:

  • First, choose your advisers wisely and ensure they have your best interests in mind. They need to know all the changing details of your individual situation to provide the best counsel unique to you. Think of your banker and your attorney in terms of relationships, not transactions.
  • Think of this team as the people who know you and your values well -- people who are easy to call and ask, "What do you think?"
  • Finally, build a team that you know works with your benefit in mind. You don’t have to go it alone. In this world that thrives on networking, build and use your own personal network.

With the right personal board of directors, and the right relationships, you can walk into the "boardroom of life" confident that your team will lead you to the summit of personal success.

By Wendee Crowley, assistant vice president, Norwest Bank Colorado. Crowley has more than six years of banking experience and currently serves customers of Norwest’s Private Banking Group.