Creating Excellence in Board Leadership

Monday, October 5, 2009

Does Individual Behavior Play a Role in Board Success?

Indeed it does!

Much like values discussed in the previous blog, every board would be well served by a list of personal behaviors it expects from participating members. Most boards often talk about the importance of trust, transparency and teamwork. But candidly, it’s not much more than an expression of intellectual ascent, albeit genuine. Boards that hold these items in high regard must have assertive means for achieving them.

Trust, transparency and teamwork can be achieved with a list of individual behaviors that provide a leadership culture in which they flourish. Such a list should appear as board policy. Further, every board should have both a formal (an upcoming blog) and informal evaluation process by which it assesses compliance to these behaviors. On an informal basis board members should be self-policing and hold one another accountable to these behaviors at every meeting.

What behaviors should appear on this list? Here’s a starter set. But it must be understood that every board has to custom design a list that serves their culture.

Attendance: except for emergencies or unexpected work assignments, perfect attendance should prevail. Effective teaming is achieved only if every member is present. Attendance records should be visible at every meeting.
Diligent preparation: board members seeking to contribute to agenda work without preparing in advance undermine efforts toward effective teaming. Effectual leadership can be achieved only by making use of the interdependent strengths consistently contributed by every board member.
Enterprising perspective: prepared board members come to each meeting with innovative or creative ideas for achieving the board’s assigned work. Along with these innovative suggestions there must be an overarching spirit of cooperation. Good board members always want what’s best for the organization, never what profits them.

The above list can be expanded with things like confidentiality, consensus, respect, reliability, etc. Just remember, trust is grown while transparency and teamwork are acquired.

Logicboard offers an innovative and highly successful model for board leadership and governance. It brings detail and coaching to the items listed above. Contact us today for more information.
PO Box 5010 Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone:309-275-9734 or 309-287-0834