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Board Governance

9 Myths About Most Boards
Summarized By Vicki Scott, Director of Client Services

Gone are the good old days of inviting figure heads to sit on your Board of Directors just for the prestige. Today's boards must be comprised of passionate, hardworking, business leaders and professionals that can work effectively as part of a team. There is no room for self-serving agendas when the viability of non-profit organizations is at stake. June Bradham's assessment of effective board governance is spot-on.

Assembling and keeping a great board is a challenge, but June Bradham, founder and president of consulting firm Corporate DevelopMint, has discovered nine myths that can hamper either the makeup or operations of a board. She presents those myths in her book "The Truth About What Nonprofit Boards Want" and follows with myth-busting truths.

  1. It's the cause, not the company. Current board makeup is the number one reason a top-flight candidate will consider board service.
  2. A great board member is a great board member. Period. The board member who doesn't feel the cause passionately can't compete with one who does.
  3. The board alone is responsible for success or failure. Without a dedicated, smart, visible and vocal CEO, a board will not totally engage.
  4. CEO and board members are colleagues, nothing more. Engaged boards have an inspired CEO who forms a partnership with board members and demonstrates a passion for the mission.
  5. It's about the work, not about the party. All work and no play makes Jack an unhappy board member.
  6. What the Executive Committee shares is its business. The chair and CEO must build trust with the entire board.
  7. Great board members = big check writers. That's all. Board giving is directly correlated to the board experience.
  8. No one cares about gift expectations two years out. Tell the board in advance what is expected out of it.
  9. Boards get a lot from training. Board members hate anything labeled "training".

Your association will benefit from a well planned board development program that identifies and cultivates up and coming volunteer leaders. You recruit members, why not put the same amount of effort and thought into developing a plan to recruit future leaders?