Welcome to Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Al Lopus is our guest blogger this week for the first of three lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.”
LESSON 31 OF 40 - Cut the Cord! Invite Board Members to Exit When They Don’t Live Your ValuesIf you want a healthy board, recruit healthy people.
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 31, we’re reminded that it takes wisdom and courage for a board chair to initiate an honest, difficult conversation with an under-performing board member whose values, for whatever reasons, are not aligned to those of the organization.
MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 31, pages 158-162:
• “The values discussion is mandatory. ‘One way to get a healthy culture is to hire healthy people,’ says Miles McPherson. To paraphrase McPherson, if you want a healthy board, recruit healthy people.”
• “’One of the greatest gifts we can offer another person is a safe place to fail.’ As you define and refine your board’s core values, pray for a discerning spirit to know when you must show grace and when you must show someone the door.”
MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
A board member, whose values are not aligned to those of the organization, can be the “silent killer” of a board’s effectiveness and, thus, the organization’s health and growth.
Ignoring this potentiality on your board can pay adverse dividends. The authors of Mission Drift, Peter Greer and Chris Horst, acknowledge the pressure to drift from Christian values at the board level. It’s really easy to drift from an organization’s mission and values, especially for the sake of short term expediency—but at what cost? They encourage boards to make the hard decisions to correct drift, especially when a key contributor to that drift is a board member who needs to leave.
Al Lopus is President of Best Christian Workplaces Institute. BCWI is an international non-profit, research-based, organizational development and human resources consulting firm, headquartered in Mercer Island, Wash.
BCWI’s pioneering mission is to equip and inspire Christian leaders to build a flourishing workplace. Through its popular Staff Engagement Survey, 360 Review, and other tools, BCWI has involved more than 925 churches, ministry organizations, and businesses worldwide.
Al’s favorite books include The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, by Patrick Lencioni, and Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, by Martin Seligman.
TO-DO TODAY:• As a board member, take spiritual action in prayer and/or fasting regarding a significant issue for your ministry.
• Invite other board members to join you in this spiritual action.
• Expect to get a response from God, because He does answer.
On June 27, 2018, watch for the commentary by Rick Alvis on Lesson 32, "Loose Lips Sink the Boardroom Ship. What happens in the boardroom must stay in the boardroom."
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