Apply Now

School for CEOs considers the pros and cons of non-executive directorships

12 October 2016

The pros and cons of non-executive directorship was the topic for discussion at the latest School for CEOs seminar.

Held in the Edinburgh head office of Standard Life, around 40 guests heard from Susie Cummings, CEO of Nurole who candidly highlighted the trade-off between the career development and learning opportunity versus the time and personal commitment. She established the business following a successful career in headhunting.

Nurole is the first platform to really deliver to corporations what they need to source board members - in a digital age. It delivers all the benefits seen with other digital platforms – better access to data, a faster more efficient process and higher quality results

Susie believes that it has taken so long for the executive search sector to catch up because the people in it are generally already well networked. She said: ‘Other digital channels like LinkedIn are not right for them – they’re less likely to have an active profile because they get inundated with connection requests from strangers and as a result they recoil from it and don’t go back. In short they treat it with suspicion.’

The session was facilitated by School for CEOs Co-Founder, David Sole who took questions from the audience for the panel which included Susie; Stephen Lochhead, Global Talent & Organisational Development Director, Standard Life and David’s School for CEOs Co-Founder Patrick Macdonald. His advice to those looking for NED appointments is “Do your due diligence on prospective organisations when considering new opportunities. Align your search for a non-executive role with your purpose.”

"Most leaders know that they should at least attempt to understand the drivers and motivations of their team members in order to lead them more effectively. Some go so far as to try and understand what makes their boss and peers tick too. But many CEOs neglect to make the same effort with the non-executive members of their Board. They’re human too and have their own needs, biases and agendas. Understand those – as you would for anyone else you deal with in your business – and you’ll be able to work with them much more efficiently." he added.

Notes for editors

The School for CEOs is an innovative concept in executive education. It was founded in 2011 by: Patrick Macdonald, Chairman of Reconomy, Chairman & Chief Executive of Inenco Group Ltd and former Chief Executive of John Menzies plc; and David Sole OBE, business coach and former international rugby captain. The next School for CEOs programme is the Vital Few programme on 12/13 October in London. The 2-day residential programme will be taught by practitioners: current and former business leaders. It aims to provide senior businessmen and women with the insights and experience they need to be successful in CEO and other senior leadership positions.
For more information and to apply, call 0131 225 5886, go to or email


Back to News