Are you likely to take action at the request of someone you barely know?
Of course, I realize it depends on what the request is.
So, let’s say you are a board member of a nonprofit. The request is reasonable and something you can do. In fact, it would further the mission impact of your organization. However, the activity is going to take your time, energy and maybe money – and will take you away from work and family. That’s a high price to pay to fulfill a request from someone you barely know.
What if the board chair or the ED/CEO is making the request – and the only time you’ve seen or interacted with him or her is in board meetings?
How accountable are you to individuals you barely know?
Without a doubt, board members are well-intentioned individuals who, in many cases, don’t know the board chair, ED/CEO or each other prior to their board service. At best, board members may get in quick conversations with a few staff and board colleagues before or after the meeting, if time allows.
Here’s the problem, however, the world revolves on relationships!
We are all motivated by and hold ourselves accountable to people who value us.
In fact, we need to know they value us before we will commit to very much – and certainly before we are willing to go “over and above” for the cause.
What difference would it make if your board chair and your ED/CEO each had a one-on-one breakfast or lunch with each board member every year?
- Besides the benefit of getting to know each other, how might the board chair better understand each board member’s personal reasons for serving?
- How might the board chair and CEO understand the best use of each board member’s time, talents and connections?
- How might each board member’s commitment “to the cause” evolve and grow as a result of the personal connection established with the board chair and ED/CEO?