How to be a Great Board Member

Walt RoseOur September speaker, Walt Rose, gave an insightful and personal recap of his 30+ years of service on Boards of Directors. His experience ranged from private, public, and non-profit boards to advisory boards and school boards. He served on most major committees, and chaired both committees and boards. Some board terms were great successes, and others were terrible failures!

Here are some of the learnings Walt shared with our Club members in attendance:

Lesson #1 – Board service is more of an Art than a Science

Be of service to the organization, over yourself. Be informed. Be judicious. Exercise good judgment. Know when to speak up, and when to let it rest. Don’t be timid. Use your instinct to decide what is important, and to fill in the data-gaps when making decisions.

Lesson #2 – The most important relations is between the Board and the CEO

Hiring, evaluating, mentoring, and firing, but not micromanaging. Be careful mixing friendship with Board-ship.

Lesson #3 – When on a non-profit board, then be a great fundraiser!

Be prepared to give of both time and treasure. Own the fundraising campaign…don’t delegate. Be an active member of the campaign. Takes money to raise money. Thank your donors.

Lesson #4 – Know the attributes of your desired Board member

Judgment, experience, motivation, interest, values, style, ability to mentor/coach, ask the tough questions, strong network, willingness to make the tough calls.

Mr. Rose shared beautiful examples and explained each lesson in an engaging, witty manner meant to arm and educate each one of us to be successful in our board work today and tomorrow. His passion for boards was palpable, and attendees could tell that he added much value to his organizations and treated each board role as a privilege.

Thank you, Walt Rose, for your contribution to the CEO Club of Marin!

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