Margie Traylor is the CEO of Arizona-based Audacious Studios, which she cofounded almost 23 years ago. Audacious is a consortium of b2b and b2c marketing and customer experience agencies serving national clients in multiple industries, including retail, healthcare, CPG and technology. At the apex of her career, Margie realized that she needed help crafting a compelling narrative about her life in business to pursue a seat on a board, a goal she’d been seeking to fulfill for several years. We sat down with Margie to learn about her journey with Recchion Associates, from inklings of desire to serve on a board to recently helping ring the closing bell at Nasdaq for Augmedix, whose board she currently, and proudly, sits on. Augmedix is a digital health platform that offers virtual medical documentation and live clinical support.
Why did you want to sit on a board?
There were several reasons I wanted to serve on a board. Fundamentally, it felt like the next organic step in my career based on my path. It was time. I wanted to share my expertise and background in another way, beyond my own business and other professional pursuits. Those who sit on boards have cachet. It’s a milestone of sorts, a marker that you are an accomplished professional. That’s very appealing. But more importantly, serving on a board provides a different type of intellectual challenge outside of your normal work tasks that brings a host of benefits, including helping cultivate new perspectives on your own current work.
Why did you feel you needed an executive coach to help get you board-ready?
When you’re doing your day-to-day job, you’re constantly looking forward. We’re always propelling ourselves to accomplish the next task, create new strategies and solve current and avert potential problems. It’s a challenge to reflect on your accomplishments of several years ago, let alone 10 and 20 years ago! I was referred to Recchion & Associates by a friend and colleague who’d seen the great work they did with several people in her circle. After I met with Gary, I was sold. I knew this was the help I needed to achieve my goal.
How did Recchion & Associates help you frame your story?
First let me say, I could not have gotten myself board-ready without Gary and his team. Choosing to work with them was a critical strategic decision. I am forever grateful. Their step-by-step process, which is so unique, brought up many memories from my earlier work life that I had completely forgotten or didn’t think were relevant because they’d happened (I thought) long ago. I’d been focused on messaging my marketing experience but hadn’t fully surfaced all the financial and accounting work I’d successfully executed earlier in my career. This was crucial information to help shape my narrative. And it was these earlier experiences that really anchored my personal pitch to Augmedix.
Do you have any tips for those looking to serve on a board?
Invest the time in understanding your value proposition and put a board package together that highlights your accomplishments and greatest strengths. It isn’t a modified version of your resume. It requires digging deep into your history and how you’ve led throughout your career. I encourage everyone to hire a coach to walk you through the process of designing your board narrative. Once you’ve got a tight package, then it is all about networking with those people in your circle who are currently serving on boards. Learn from their experiences and share your desires to become a board member. Join organizations like the National Association of Corporate Directors or Women Corporate Directors to grow your skills and build your network. Then be patient. Board opportunities don’t come along every day and the process once you apply can take months. The first board role is the hardest to obtain. In that first board role a strong reputation for being a strategic thinker, collegial and willing to dig in to get things right is key. Your reputation will be a catalyst for future roles. Keep networking and build your brand over time. Success will come if you do.