How to Be a Great Board Member

A great board member brings enthusiasm and energy, as well as knowledge to the board. They are aware of their responsibilities and can set guidelines to achieve the organization’s objectives and legal obligations. They are aware of the organization’s culture, its operations vision, mission, and values. They are also aware of the responsibilities and roles of the board as well as the principles of good governance.

It is essential that a good board member be willing to challenge and question major decisions. It is often done through questions or challenges designed to help the CEO understand a problem they may not have spotted and look a bit further ahead than the CEO may be looking or to encourage a different view. A great board member can handle this in a professional manner, without being personally offensive or intimidating.

Great boards are populated with board members who are dedicated to the cause of the organization and inspire others. They also communicate effectively and make decisions in a timely manner. A good board member must be prepared for meetings of the board and other events. It is crucial to arrive at the meeting prepared with the agenda, documents of the board, and committee reports.

The ability to be a great board member is as much about attitude as it is about background, experience or education. Outstanding board members are always contemplating the best way to serve the organization and other board members. They are not prone to personalizing arguments, work to solve conflicts and are able to provide solutions that bring together both sides of an issue.

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