According to a recent study by the TCC Group, “leadership” is the most critical factor in determining the sustainability of an organization.
So what will it take for your board to become the visionary leaders of your organization?
Boards are taught how to handle their legal obligations, but that sure isn’t leadership. They are taught how to recruit and set policy, but that isn’t leadership either. Leadership is about end results, not operational means.
Leadership moves beyond the bare legal minimum of fiduciary obligation (a minimum which, in the past 10 years or so, has somehow become the maximum – the end all and be all of being a board. That would be like saying, “The job of a parent is to be sure that you don’t break any child endangerment laws.” How silly!)
Visionary leadership is about engaging as members of the community the organization serves. It is then about making decisions to create the kind of future the community aspires to have. When boards hold themselves accountable for that higher leadership, they are acting as catalysts for community change.
So how can you transform your board to be such a catalyst? The first step is a simple one. And it works for virtually every board because first and foremost, board members join boards because they want to make a difference.
1) Add a 15 minute item to the agenda for every board meeting. Title it “Making a Difference.”
2) During that discussion, consider one of the following questions:
- What are we holding ourselves accountable for? To whom are we holding ourselves accountable? What matters most to our board?
- When we do our annual planning, what future are we planning to create for our community?
- When we measure success, whose success are we measuring? What indicators might we use to measure change in our community?
After just a few months of these discussions, your board will begin to change. Board members will be energized, excited, passionate about your mission.
Because this is just one among many agenda items, the board will still have plenty of time in the agenda to discuss all the fiduciary issues they have always discussed. But those legal obligations will no longer be the board’s sole focus. They will be discussing those legal issues within the context of the big picture difference they want your organization to make in your community.
Help your board tap into their passion for making a difference. Help them self-inspire to reach for what is possible. Help them take those first steps to becoming visionary leaders for your organization.
Then stand back and watch magic happen.
What other questions can you ask to ignite your board’s passion? Download them now!