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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

LESSON 32 – Loose Lips Sink the Boardroom Ship

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. Rick Alvis is our guest blogger this week for the second of three lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.”


LESSON 32 OF 40 - Loose Lips Sink the Boardroom Ship
What happens in the boardroom must stay in the boardroom.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK:
 Here’s the wisdom from Lesson 32: As a board member, keep your lips sealed, regardless of the topic matter. Loose lips can destroy a ministry and its public reputation.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 32, pages 163-167: 
• It is so important for a board member to know that most everything at a board meeting should be treated confidentially. It should also be noted—ministries ought to consider having members sign a confidentiality statement even though confidentiality may be spelled out in the board policies manual. Signing a statement annually is a timely reminder that the information in board meetings is confidential.

• Follow the two strikes rule. Yes, the first time can be overlooked and considered an “Oops, I forgot!” moment. However, when a board member shares confidential information a second time, that person should be removed from the board. (Perhaps it is in that person’s DNA to leak information—and so boards must always address the issue.) 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
In this age where there is ample misinformation floating out in cyberspace, it is not necessary to add to the data flow. Once the information is out, there is no way to reel it in. There are matters that a board needs to process internally and boards do not need the pressure of outsiders to “help” the processing aspect. If a member of the board releases information, either good or bad, it can do irreparable harm to the organization. 

All too often comments are made because people want to look important or in the know—like they have the inside track. They overlook the fact that there are right ways to release information to the public and wrong ways. Whenever information is released, organizations today need to get the best possible impact from it that they can. Boards need to strategize the best way to take advantage of any kind of information for the good of the cause. Loose lips work just the opposite. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY RICK ALVIS:


Rick Alvis has served the homeless and addicted in Indiana for 40 years. Since 1990, he’s served as President/CEO of Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis. He began his career with the Evansville Rescue Mission where he worked for 13 years before coming to Wheeler Mission.  In his tenure in Indianapolis, he has directed a path of growth and outreach to the neediest citizens of the state, increasing the number of services offered and extending programs to men, women, and children. Under his leadership, three organizations have merged with Wheeler Mission in order to provide more effective care for Hoosiers in need of vital services. Setting Wheeler Mission on a solid financial path has allowed Wheeler Mission to expand programs and the number of staff by growing a balanced budget from around $650,000 in 1990 to over $13 million in 2017 and an increase in staff from 17 in 1990 to more than 150 today.

Rick has served the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions in several capacities, including Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, and as President (board chair) from 2003–2009, the longest serving board chair in AGRM’s history. He currently serves on the ECFA board as secretary. In 2016, Governor Mike Pence, now Vice President of the United States, honored Rick with Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash award. Rick and his wife, Julie (who also works at the mission), have been married since 1974 and have three grown children, one grandson and three grand dogs (two are German Shepherds).

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Review your board policies. Do you have a confidentiality statement? If not, create one.
• Consider having board members annually sign the confidentiality statement. 




NEXT WEDNESDAY:

On July 4, 2018, watch for the commentary by Tom Addington on Lesson 33, "Good Is the Enemy of Great. When great board experiences end, they should be lamented."

Subscribe to this blog by submitting your email (just above the date/day). Visit the Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom webpage and order extra 
copies for your board members.




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LESSON 31 - Cut the Cord! Invite Board Members to Exit When They Don’t Live Your Values

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 Values 
If 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. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY AL LOPUS:


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. 


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.   




NEXT WEDNESDAY:

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."

Subscribe to this blog by submitting your email (just above the date/day). Visit the Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom webpage and order extra 
copies for your board members.




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

LESSON 30 - The Truck Driver Was No Match for the Faith-Filled Board Chair

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. Gregg Hunter and Ed McDowell are our guest bloggers this week for the third of three lessons in "Part 9: Holy Ground and Other Locations.”


LESSON 30 OF 40 - The Truck Driver Was No Match for the Faith-Filled Board Chair
Don’t stop at “All in favor say aye.”

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK:
 In Lesson 30, we read how powerful a board member’s impact can be when he or she commits to intercede—and act—on behalf of the ministry. This lesson relates the story of how an early board chair of SAMBICA camp near Seattle followed up on the board’s vote to approve the building of a tabernacle—a place greatly needed for gatherings and worship.

The problem: the vote didn’t lead directly to funding and construction. Instead, the board chair at the time, Charlie Johnson, took action—going to the camp property to fast and pray for three days. Then, when it looked like God was delivering what was needed, Johnson grabbed the opportunity and brought the construction of the building to reality.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 30, pages 152-155: 
There’s something very different about what Charlie Johnson did and a board focusing on camp operations. His actions were not geared toward directing how things should be done at camp, nor taking on pieces of its ministry operations himself. 

With the board’s approval already given, Johnson saw a need and sought to meet it. Neither money, nor supplies, nor builders were lined up and ready to begin construction. So, Johnson acted: he went to the Source of funding and supplies and prayed. He applied his resources of time, passion and commitment and in the end got a front-row seat to God’s delivery—literally—of what was needed.

A board chair we know often says, “The board is first and foremost a spiritual community called by God to govern a piece of Kingdom work.”  Johnson understood this and took it to heart.

OUR COLOR COMMENTARY:
A friend told me [Gregg] about how a new board of a local youth ministry gathered decades ago to see if they could bring the ministry to the high schools in their area. They all agreed to serve on the board, they agreed to attend the meetings and encourage the leaders—but they had no funds to hire a local director. 

This friend recalls each of the four or five board members going together to a local bank and signing their name to a promissory note that would provide funds to pay the soon-to-be-hired director. He remembers some hesitation, but also recalls his commitment, first to the ministry, then to raising the money to pay back the note!  He was invested, spiritually, emotionally, and financially—and he has stayed invested for nearly 60 years!

Countless kids have met Christ over those decades because of that ministry, and it all started because a group of board members took action to supply what was needed. They realized they didn’t need policies and a three-year strategic plan at that time—they were the plan!

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY GREGG HUNTER (CEO) and ED McDOWELL (Board Chair):
Gregg Hunter is president/CEO of Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA), and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of CCCA in its efforts to maximize ministry for its members. He is passionate about Christian camping because of the life-changing impact it had on his own life. At 17, he committed his life to Christ on his first trip to a Christian camp. Over his career, he has served in leadership roles at Georgia Family Council, Young Life, and The Boeing Company.   

Ed McDowell is the CEO of Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center in Stanwood, Wash.  He also leads Thriving Boards, a board coaching initiative of the Christian Camp and Conference Association. Ed also does consulting with a special focus on board development and problem-solving with fresh perspectives. He and his wife, Bev, live in Stanwood, Wash., where they enjoy their family.

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.   




NEXT WEDNESDAY:

On June 20, 2018, watch for the commentary by Al Lopus on Lesson 31, "Cut the Cord! Invite Board Members to Exit When They Don't Live Your Values. If you want a healthy board, recruit healthy people."

Subscribe to this blog by submitting your email (just above the date/day). Visit the Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom webpage and order extra 
copies for your board members.




Wednesday, June 6, 2018

LESSON 29 - Think and Pray Outside the Box—and the County

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. David Curry is our guest blogger this week for the second of three lessons in "Part 9: Holy Ground and Other Locations.”


LESSON 29 OF 40 - Think and Pray Outside the Box—and the County
Discern your Big HOLY Audacious Goal (carefully).

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK:
 Is it God’s will that you operate without a compelling vision, scrimping by year-to-year and losing momentum? Then make every effort to pray and organize towards a God-sized vision for your ministry. Expand your experience by visiting other ministries, getting out of your own county to see what God is doing—and CAN do—through you and your ministry.

In Lesson 29, we read the story of Willard Heck, founder of New Life Ranch, who had a big vision for what God could do in northeast Oklahoma. His faith and vision led to a big, audacious dream that has touched many lives. But it isn’t just founders who can receive a big, HOLY audacious goal. God is stirring many leaders and boards today to expand their vision beyond survival and day-to-day living—and into something that is both audacious and aligned with His will.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 29, pages 147-151: 
• “Leaders can lift a board’s vision by reminding them of God’s work in other locations. Not only do you need to think outside the box, sometimes it helps to think outside the county.”
“Resist the temptation to focus only on budgets, blueprints, and buildings. Instead, embrace those goals that focus on the people God is calling you to reach and serve.”
• “What target is so big, so audacious, so needing the faith of zealots, that only God can deliver?” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
The tyranny of the day-to-day—budgets, meetings, and yearly events to sustain life and keep the lights on—can overwhelm most leaders and sap our energy, leaving little that could be used to power a big, God-sized vision. Yet, counterintuitively, if we start with the big idea that we feel God led us to pursue, and aligns with His will, then the energy and resources for the day-to-day often take care of themselves. In the end, we are left with something we could not have done ourselves, but that has sparked an imagination in the teams and people that God has surrounded us with.   

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY DAVID CURRY:


David Curry is CEO of Open Doors USA, which advocates for and supports persecuted Christians in the areas of the world most hostile to Christian faith. He is the author of four books, including First Aid for Enablers: Ten Treatments for Enablers and the Addicts They Love. Curry is also a regular contributor to Fox News and other media outlets.  He lives in Santa Ana, Calif., with his family.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Visit inspirational settings to spark your imagination and vision.
• Think, pray, and discern God’s direction for the future. Does He want you to live simply day-to-day, or is He prompting something bigger?




NEXT WEDNESDAY:

On June 13, 2018, watch for the tag-team commentary by CCCA's Gregg Hunter (CEO) and Ed McDowell (board chair) on Lesson 30, "The Truck Driver Was No Match for the Faith-Filled Board Chair. Don't stop at 'All in favor say aye.'"

Subscribe to this blog by submitting your email (just above the date/day). Visit the Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom webpage and order extra 
copies for your board members.