Trusteeship requires many skills. It can take years to gain a rounded understanding through a number of trusteeships.
There is an emerging trustee career development ladder that begins with having a clear understanding of the role and knowing how to challenge and be collegiate in board meetings. Trustees with more experience know how to provide good judgement and strategic oversight in a range of situations. The top level of skill is the ability to ensure that governance arrangements are fit for the future and to respond to major transitions and crises.
Some skills, such as team working, thinking strategically and being creative can be gained from business and management experience. But others can be learned only by being a trustee. Gaining experience should start with smaller, simpler or well-governed organisations and lead eventually through to trusteeship of larger, more demanding bodies, such as a multinational delivering services and campaigns.
Trustees who want to be most effective should assess their level of development and identify knowledge and experience gaps in order to decide what to do before taking the next step up the ladder.