If your board brings on new people at the end of the school year, and bids farewell to those who have reached the end of their terms, you are probably thinking through candidates right now. As you do so, consider the characteristics of strong boards noted below and see if anything is missing. Before you nominate, enlist and orient new members, make sure the items below are up to snuff. This also is a good way to evaluate the board’s performance from the previous year.
- Clear mandate
- Specific Goals and Objectives to Meet Current Challenges
- Membership Committed to Mandate and Appropriate to Tasks/Roles
- Viable Committee Structure
- Cultivation of Future Leadership
- Excellent Communication and Work Ethic
- Strong Board/Staff Relationships
- Written Expectations
With your clear mandate in mind, carefully consider the skills, qualifications and interests you need and recruit for those traits. Don’t overlook personality. A prospective member might be an expert in an area you need, but if his bombastic personality creates tension and discord in every turn in the road, it might be best to utilize his gifts on a one-on-one basis lest he spoil the well at meetings. You need a group that has not only the right experience but also works effectively TOGETHER and enjoys one another’s company.
Don’t forget: people who volunteer live longer than people who don’t. So if you hesitate to invite people to join in, or feel you are unduly obligating them, set those worries aside. You are, actually, allowing them to enjoy longer, happier, healthier lives. How good of you!