Leadership Development and/or Board Composition

Board composition - Rock metaphorAt the same board meeting I referenced in, “Exuding Confidence in Life (and Asking For Support)” I sat in with the leadership development committee.  There was some discussion as to what was more important:

  1. finding the skills that a board needs, i.e. attorney, financial expertise, financial resources, etc.;
  2. creating diverse demographics that represent your community; or
  3. passionate, hard-working people.

I was sorry to say that having a group of passionate, hard working people isn’t enough to sustain a board for very long.   Eventually the gaps would show themselves to both the board and the community at large.  If you have no financial expertise, how will you balance a budget and prove to supporters that you are prudent stewards and will do this for years to come.  Without a combination of all kinds and supporters of all shapes and sizes, how will you know that you are continuing to fulfill the needs of the current population?  How will you know that there will be support for the cause?

Now, there is also something to be said for an organization that is only concerned about having a “money” board.  Money pays the bills, but it does not help run events, determine the vision for the organization or automatically advocate on your behalf.  There is a careful balance on all successful boards. And ideally, everyone is passionate and hard-working.

Yes, these people are volunteers.  They will go in and out of their commitment levels as their lives allow, but their strength and, in turn the organization’s strength lies in the consistent planning on how to improve and replace the current board.  It’s not always an easy task, but it is a lot easier than watching a board’s demise or struggles due to lack of diversity and preparedness.

Of course, each board is so different from the next.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance to your organization by clicking here to email us.