Robyn Weatherley has spent close to ten years observing the working of boards, both at Cbus and at NAB. She has drawn upon this experience to create a first-timer’s guide to joining a board.

Anyone considering taking the plunge as a first-time director of a superannuation fund – or any board, should read Robyn Weatherley’s book Eyes wide open – a first-timer’s guide to the real world of boards and company directorship.

A long-time company secretary and now general manager of governance at Cbus, Weatherley draws on her experience of observing the practice of boards over three years at Cbus and six years at NAB where she was head of governance integration and associate company secretary.

The first half of the book majors on the due diligence an individual should undertake before accepting an invitation to become a director – or, as the book title suggests, going in with your “eyes wide open”. This covers ensuring the organisation you are joining is financially sound and well managed, that the culture of the board will suit you and having the ability to understand financial accounts and a working knowledge of the legal responsibilities of directors.

Beyond this, Weatherley gives an exhaustive list of what directors obligations will look like once they are appointed, some do’s and don’ts of board behaviour, plus a run-down of the all the personality types one is likely to encounter (the impatient director, the pedantic director, the police officer, the pioneer, the risk averse, the devil’s advocate and the argumentative director!).

If you were expecting the role of a director to be largely about having fun and building your own sense of selfworth, Weatherley’s book is not the read for you, but if you want to approach it in a professional, methodical way, then it is essential.

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