For me, I like my job, I’m good at my job, I spend a lot of time at my job, but it doesn’t feed my soul. I realized after ten years practicing that I needed something else in my life, and I was fortunate to find SAFEchild.
While I was president of SAFEchild, we applied to be the Band Together partner. That’s how I got introduced to Danny Rosin and his team. I was really impressed by what Band Together could do for nonprofits and with nonprofits, so when I rolled off the SAFEchild board, I contacted Danny and asked if I could get involved. Danny said, “Sure you can get involved, but I don’t know you from Adam so you need to start volunteering at the very lowest level.”
So I did. I picked up trash, I served beers, I served on committees, then I chaired committees, then I was on steering committee. And then at that point, I got onto the board of directors.
When you’re dealing with a board that’s 15 to 20 people, not every board member is a rock star. Everyone’s there for a good reason; nobody’s there for the wrong reason. But people have different things going on in their lives. I think pretty quickly when you get involved with a board, if you’re an executive director and you’re observing your board, you want to see engagement.
What I’ve found in terms of leadership roles on boards, it’s better just to go to somebody who you’ve identified as not performing the way you would expect them to and just address it — have a conversation. Is there something going on? Are you not able to give to the board what you thought when you came? It’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I think it’s important to, instead of letting an issue like that fester, have the discussion. If there are life issues going on and that person is no longer situated, able or energized to serve, let them roll off. You can find somebody to take that position who’s really fired up.
See more from the People Matter series here.