Guest Commentator: Michele Wood, Vice President, Xfinity Internet and Communications, Comcast NBCUniversal @comcast 

How has volunteer board service enhanced your business acumen and leadership skills?

I have served on the board of Art-Reach since September 2017.  I’ve been inspired by the mission of Art-Reach, which is to create opportunities for people from the disability community and/or living with low-income to have greater access to arts and culture.    Non-profit board service with Art-Reach has had a significant impact on both my personal and professional development.  I’ve been pushed out of my day to day areas of focus, and worked to collaborate with a new peer group that comes from a diverse set of backgrounds.

In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to develop more strategic leadership skills including how better to influence those around me as well as how better to anticipate challenges that may be ahead.  I’ve learned the importance of leadership versatility or learning to adapt my leadership approach to each unique situation I encounter.   More specifically, I’ve learned how I can best contribute to the organization, understanding when to lean in and when it makes sense to let others take charge.  Learning when to empower others has made me a better leader at Comcast and has given me a broader perspective on a personal front.

The most valuable learning I’ve taken away from my experience thus far has been gaining more insight into challenges in my community, including those that may impact Comcast customers.  Understanding the challenges of the community Art-Reach represents with respect to how certain individuals experience art and culture differently has broadened the way I think about the products and services Comcast delivers to our customers on a daily basis.

Michele is a graduate of the Arts + Business Council’s Business On Board leadership development through board service program. At the beginning of the program, Michele was matched to the board of Art Reach to observe a board in action while participating in four months of informative and enlightening classroom sessions.

Business On Board is an excellent opportunity for those interested in growing as a leader in their community while augmenting their own business skills.