Anybody that’s ever held an executive-level position has likely contemplated joining a board of directors for a private or public company at some point during their career. People that hold such positions are often thought of as respectable and well-established, so it stands to reason that the position appeals to executives worldwide. However, thinking about obtaining a board position and actually obtaining a board position are two entirely different concepts.

Participating on a board of directors requires a rather hefty commitment in terms of your time and attention, something that many executives seem to run short on regularly. Even so, you shouldn’t neglect the opportunity. Here are four reasons why joining a board of directors is worth the effort.

Sharing Your Knowledge and Experience

Members with a demonstrated breadth of management and leadership experience are what makes most Boards functional and effective. The collective lending of the expertise and experience of each member allows the board to make better, well-informed decisions. A Board’s dynamic provides an opportunity to share what you’ve learned with others in creating shareholder value and improved decision making.

Expanding Your Strategic Thinking Skills

Boards are made up of several highly intelligent individuals from a variety of fields. It is imperative that each board member exhibits above-average proficiency in problem-solving, strategic thinking, and leadership, and that they understand the latest management techniques pertinent to the company they are serving. Participating in productive discussions and debates with other board members outside of your industry enables you to sharpen your skills as you help to sharpen theirs.

Expanding Your Network

Boards are consistently looking for members with the ability to broaden the reach of the company they serve. Offering them access to your valuable network helps them to achieve their goals while providing you with the opportunity to expand your own network simultaneously. The result is a symbiotic relationship in which both parties benefit from an augmented pool of resources.

Giving Back

More often than not, serving on a board of directors gives you a chance to have a say in some of the most important initiatives being undertaken in your community. Even for-profit boards have a significant say in company decisions, which can impact communities just as profoundly as nonprofit boards. Serving on a board of directors allows you to voice your opinion while advocating for or against issues that directly affect your company and your home.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to set aside your reservations and seek a position on a board of directors. While you may need to sacrifice a bit of your time, you stand to gain a platform to help other companies benefit from your unique knowledge and experience while contemporaneously sharpening your skills and expanding your horizons.