Non-profit CEOs, how do you know you have a great board? The simple yet surprising answer is this: When your board has the leadership, integrity, vision and courage to fire you if you are not serving the mission.
So ask yourself, would your board fire you? And if not, do you have the courage and leadership to build a board that would? Building a strong board requires hard work and demands that you look beyond your own inner circle of friends, family and contacts for leaders who will challenge you.
Board members must be willing to say no to initiatives when and if they are inconsistent with the organizational mission. Your board must contain members who support the organizational mission and can fill roles that address your strategic priorities. They must be leaders who have experience thinking about the future, managing change and developing people. Their values must be in sync with the organization’s values. Board members must challenge you to excel and perform at the very highest level.
This kind of board is not something that just happens; this kind of board must be built. And once in place, this board will stand for nothing less than a dynamic, mission-driven CEO that is making an impact and focusing on what matters most. This kind of board will demand an organization that is built not around your capabilities, energy and ego but rather they will demand that you build an organization that can survive your loss.
Ask yourself if you have built this kind of board. And if not, what is holding you back from recruiting strong board leaders. To quickly assess and begin building a strong board, here is a checklist to aid your thinking.
Is your greatest fear getting fired or have you built a board that is helping you lead an organization that is consistently fulfilling its mission?