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"Board cronyism" has run rampant for too long. The playing field must be leveled so board seats are obtainable to a wider, richly qualified, more diverse range of talent. To remain competitive and profitable, our corporations and free enterprise system depend on it. In their June 2011 Harvard Business Review article "Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women," Anita Woolley and Thomas W. Malone wrote: "There's little correlation between a group's collective intelligence and IQs of its individual members. But if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises." The authors and their assistants had given standard intelligence tests to subjects between 18 and 60 years old. Each team was asked to solve one complex problem along with completing such tasks as brainstorming, visual puzzles, and decision-making exercises. "Teams were given intelligence scores based on their performance. Though the teams that had members with higher IQs didn't earn much higher scores, those that had more women did." So female and male readers listen up. While corporate board seats are scarce, competition is fierce and director turnover is low, here's something to celebrate: Unlike the past when boards often interviewed just one person whom they knew, many boards are now interviewing several candidates. This means, according to the Spencer Stuart U.S. Board Index 2014, more first-time directors---39 percent of newly seated directors are serving for the first time---and people with different experience are being invited to the process. And the 2014 National Association of Public Company Governance Survey confirms that 23 percent of all new directors are division/subsidiary presidents and other line and functional leaders. This is almost double their representation a decade ago. So you don't have to sit passively just wishing and hoping. You can take action. In fact, the "right" initiatives can immeasurably increase your odds of earning a seat. (This book is full of folks who have done just that!) Here's the tricky part, however: Joining a corporate board is generally by invitation only. (Sometimes board recruiters build the candidate list, but many times the board works independently.) Although the landscape is changing, direct solicitation is still considered taboo. Consequently, your actions should be carefully choreographed so that the board finds you and determines that you are the are the most qualified candidate for the seat. You'll want to rely on your sponsors and supporters to do the initial canvassing for you. If this sounds mysterious and murky, or downright implausible, hang on! In this book, I bring together my branding and marketing experience and my thirteen-years-and-counting corporate board experience. It's the interweaving of these two distinct sets of qualifications that enables me to help you blaze your trail to a corporate board seat. The earlier you get familiar with the world of corporate boards, the more productive your journey will be. Refer to the resources at the back of this book and take to heart the "Tools for the Journey" summary I provide at the end of every chapter. Ready to turn your ambition into action and become a corporate board director? Read this book. Your someday starts now.