Bob Harris, CAE
I asked a leadership class “What qualities do you expect of fellow directors when you join an association board?”
One of the participants offered, “You are the average of the five people you associate with.”
Spinoffs of the quote include: “You are the sum of the five people closest to you,” and “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
Clarity – It is easy to speak up, but its not so easy to get a point across. In nearly every case “brief is better.” Directors should respect brevity (and time) and be able to read body language to gauge interest. Compromise – Willingness to listen, collaborate and compromise, while standing up for what‘s best for the organization.
Dedicated – Directors are commited to the organization during their term of office. They realize they are fiduciaries on behalf of the membership.
Innovative – Able to solve problems with available resources (finances, technology, people.) Be leery of directors who identify problems but seldom offer solutions.
Integrity – Directors adhere to standards of excellence in governance; avoiding risky behaviors.
Participatory – All directors contribute to conversations. Good governance requires a team. Nobody stands back, leaving work to others or withholding ideas.
Strategic – They know the difference between tactical and strategic. They sustain a long-term, high-level focus.
Trust – Actions and words demonstrate a culture of trust; not disparaging people or ideas. Directors respect the board-staff partnership.