爆料公社

Are You an Effective Board Member?

Are You an Effective Board Member?

By Mark Engle, 爆料公社 Principal

If you鈥檝e ever conducted an initiative to improve your organization, you know how important it is to track your results. Without data鈥攚hether it is quantitative, such as likes on a Facebook post, or qualitative, such as member testimonials鈥攊t鈥檚 impossible to know what is working and, perhaps more importantly, what is not.

But when it comes to gauging your efficacy as a board member, tracking success isn鈥檛 as simple as reviewing the metrics or talking to your end user. So, how do you know if you鈥檙e contributing value to each conversation鈥攐r ending up stuck in the same old loop of unsuccessful tactics?

Objectively assessing your own performance can be difficult, but by using our proprietary Board Member Self-Assessment, you can more easily gather data and make decisions about how you can most effectively support your organization.

To start, try asking yourself the following questions about your work as a board member:

1. Am I prepared?

Although it happens well before your session is called to order, one of the most important ways to ensure your board meeting is productive is to adequately prepare. To judge whether you are prepared for your meeting, ask yourself:

  • Have I read the advance materials provided, and do I understand their contents? Have I clarified any areas that I do not understand?
  • Have I prepared questions in advance of the meeting?
  • Have I leveraged colleagues and other members to help shape my understanding of the issues?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be missing major elements of the issue at hand鈥攁nd inadvertently derailing your colleagues鈥 efforts to find a solution.

2. Am I considering the organization鈥檚 strategy?

It can be difficult to juggle the many competing interests that enter any boardroom, but the most important priority always should be the strategic mission of the organization itself. When you consider your participation in board meetings, ask yourself:

  • Do I understand the strategy of the organization?
  • Do my comments and input most often support the achievement of that strategy?

As the primary stewards of the organization鈥檚 future, board members must ensure that their decisions reflect and support the organization鈥檚 mission. After all, if you鈥檙e not sure what your association鈥檚 goals are, how can you hope to achieve them?

3. Do I attend meetings, and am I engaged when I am there?

This one might seem simple, but association professionals know better than anyone that attendance doesn鈥檛 necessarily guarantee engagement鈥攁nd that a lack of engagement can make change nearly impossible to achieve. Ask yourself:

  • Am I present at all board meetings鈥攑hysically, mentally, and emotionally?
  • Do I challenge issues and assumptions, not individuals?
  • Do I participate in board discussions when I have something to contribute?

If you鈥檙e simply sitting in sessions, chances are good that you鈥檙e not contributing to your board鈥檚 goals鈥攁nd the chances are even better that your board is missing out on the unique and valuable insights only you can provide.

4. Am I adequately prepared to make decisions?

Every meeting has the potential to end with some big decisions, so it鈥檚 every board member鈥檚 job to come prepared to discuss and facilitate that progress. If you鈥檙e not sure whether you come to board meetings ready to give your yay or nay, ask yourself:

  • Do I have the necessary information to cast a meaningful vote, and if not, do I seek out that information?
  • Do I give my honest vote when requested?

Every decision has the impact to affect not just your membership, but your industry as a whole, and the most effective board members keep that responsibility in mind when they cast their vote on issues relevant to their constituents.

5. Am I supporting the organization outside of designated meetings?

You鈥檝e already proven your commitment by volunteering your time and energy to the board, but supporting your organization doesn鈥檛 stop at the meeting room door. Nor does support always come in the form of giving extra hours or attention; sometimes, it鈥檚 as easy as helping spread positive word of mouth. To gauge whether you鈥檙e effectively supporting your organization, ask yourself:

  • Do I support the CEO/chief staff executive publicly and privately?
  • Do I serve as an ambassador for this organization?
  • Do I take the opportunity to recruit new members and leaders?

These questions can help you better measure your effectiveness as a board member, but the process doesn鈥檛 end there. Our Board Member Self-Assessment includes a wider range of questions and an easy scoring methodology to help you not only gauge your own effectiveness, but identify areas where you may need improvement.
Learn more about how to gauge your effectiveness鈥攁nd better serve your board.

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