So what is a non executive director (or NED for short?) and what does one do? In short, they are a member of the board who is not involved in the day to day running of the business. They would usually attend board meetings and be included within the distribution list of the board pack. The idea is that as an NED you would be slightly removed from the business, this enables you to view the business from a slightly detached vantage point which gives you a different set of insights into the business which should add real value to the deliberations of the board. You should play a part in the making of key decisions but this involves offering advice and insights as opposed to actually making the decision.
I have had the good fortune and privilege of being an NED in a variety of businesses, a number of which have not been hospitality based. This has led me to focus on strategy and long term business planning along with acting as a mentor to the senior team. As part of my role, I have used my industry contacts and social media profile to open doors for the business and to raise awareness of the business amongst its target audience.
I also find that I get a lot back in terms of my personal development as I usually learn quite a lot from the senior people within the businesses that I am involved with.