Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Drains Your Board Members?

This subject arrested my attention when a good friend, Jim Galvin, asked in a recent eNewsletter, “What’s Your Kryptonite?”

“Superman could do many things well,” my organizational consultant colleague wrote, “but he became powerless around Kryptonite.”

He added, “So what is your Kryptonite? What drains you? What situations and tasks suck the life right out of you? We all have unique strengths and weaknesses. When we are operating in our strengths we are energized. When we are operating in areas of weakness we tend to feel drained.”

Effective board chairs and nonprofit ministry CEOs and senior pastors are students of their colleagues in what I call the “3 Powerful S’s” – Strengths, Spiritual Gifts and Social Styles (Driving, Analytical, Amiable and Expressive; or some prefer using the Myers-Briggs or DiSC systems).

An effective leader will understand how God has wired and gifted each individual board member and will ensure that committee assignments, for example, align with each individual’s strengths.  (For help, many boards are now using the Gallup Organization’s StrengthsFinder assessment.)

Caution! Governance work will drain the very life and passion out of unsuspecting board members who say yes to assignments out of loyalty, not out of competence.

It’s interesting that in Galvin’s list of seven items that drain him, including “traveling with people who talk incessantly,” he includes “recruiting new board members.”  So—even people who get paid to help boards get drained by certain segments of governance work.  Jim’s candor is refreshing and is a model for all of us.

The good news: Galvin also listed five solutions for addressing issues that drain you.

Question for Your Board Members: What part of your governance work drains you—and how can we better leverage your 3 Powerful S’s?

No comments:

Post a Comment