56. How to start your board director career - with Marion Macleod, FAICD.

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The Job Hunting Podcast Episode 56

Many of my coaching clients are aspiring board members. However, developing a non-executive director career requires time and planning. Here to confirm we're on track is expert board consultant, director, and trainer Marion Macleod. You can read her full bio below. I couldn't think of anyone more qualified than Marion to interview for this podcast. Knowing Marion, I also knew she would be candid and give us the truth about our real chances of getting board positions.

For quite some time now, I've been very concerned about an over-selling and over-promotion of board opportunities when I know for certain that a) there aren't that many paid board roles out there, and b) they are very competitive positions. 

So let's listen to what Marion has to say!


09:00 – Zoom dynamics and etiquette
27:21 – Marion's career 
37:58 – The pre-requisites to be considered for a non-executive board position
41:09 – Misconceptions about the role of board directors
44:12 – How to begin your career as a board director
47:26 – Government boards
49:35 – Board director job applications
59:52 – Networking 
01:00 – Final words 

Audio Podcast

About our guest, Marion Macleod, FAICD:

Marion Macleod is a non-executive director with over 25 years' board experience. Coming from a STEMM background, she has had creative, corporate, and business careers – and sees herself as someone who brings several perspectives to the table.  She brings a reflective diversity of thinking that supports the strategic consideration of risk-managed opportunities. An avid interest in current affairs also provides a deep understanding of the contemporary perspective.     

She has expertise in strategy setting, audit, finance, business commercialization, IT, change transformation, risk, and governance. Her experience extends across various industries, including banking, telecommunications, technology, education, government, agriculture, the health sector, and logistics. 

Her current board roles include Fenwick Pty.Ltd., Homeward Bound, and President of Rotary Melbourne in its Centenary year 2020-21.  Recent past board positions include; VFF, V/Line; Metlink; Mecwacare, and the CAE.  She was also a council member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) for eight years.  Rotary Melbourne has also recognized Marion with a Paul Harris Fellow and the Royce Abbey award. 

Marion previously held significant senior executive roles in complex transformational environments, particularly in; telecommunications, Television, and logistics. She saw the emergence of mobile technology in Australia and headed up Telstra Mobiles' Marketing Operations and then their Strategy and Business Planning in Customer management with oversight of a budget of $300 million.  Before that, she was a director in Television.

Marion is now principal at consultancy Core Management Solutions (CMS) and has sector experience in private, public, and not-for-profit.  To senior NAB executives, she built and delivered the award-winning program, 'The Effective Director,' and initiated the 'Boards of Tomorrow' series with KPMG.  She facilitates the Australian Institute of Company Directors' core Company Directors Course in Strategy, Risk, and Decision-making and a number of their other courses. 

Marion is a Williamson Fellow and graduate of Leadership Victoria. She has been a Commissioner in Local Government and a Councillor, is cofounder of an emerging start-up edu-tech business, and founder of the Australian Governance Academy.

With a foundation degree in science, she holds several business and financial qualifications, including an MBA from Melbourne Business School, post-graduate qualifications in finance, media, and project management, and is a Fellow of the AICD.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Enjoy the episode, and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert

[email protected]


I cannot recommend it highly enough.

To my friends and colleagues who are currently job hunting, this podcast is for you. Renata Bernarde and her stellar line up of guests very generously share their perspective, advice, behind-the-scene secrets, tips, and anecdotes. "It's called The Job Hunting Podcast (it is what it says on the tin!) Guests include Anita Ziemer, Michelle Redfern, Mohit Bhargava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run. Don't Walk." - LinkedIn post shared by Amber Knight.

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