Friday, July 12, 2013

The 6 D's: Demonstrated Passion

When recruiting board members, you must look under the surface--because that's where you'll discern a candidate's true passion.  I'll explain why as we discuss the second “D” in our six-week series on the “6 D's” criteria from the ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 1: Recruiting Board Members

No. 2: Demonstrated Passion
Gives high priority to and cares deeply about our cause. (Limits board service to one or two boards at a time.)

If you're married, you probably didn't propose on your first date. Ditto board service!  So how do you discern if a board candidate has passion for your cause?

  • Don't short-change the cultivation process. 
  • Invest 18 to 36 months in cultivating and recruiting new board members (Go slow--and employ a spiritual discernment process.) Look under the surface. Think iceberg!
  • Keep an eye on the “passion” question: 

“Of all the ministries that this person cares about, 
does he or she demonstrate 
the most passion for our ministry?”

  • Assign higher value to passion than to position. A prospect's resume (or title) is not as important as heart-felt enthusiasm and appreciation for your cause. (Of course, passion alone is not the only criteria—there are at least six criteria.)
  • Take time to check the passion level of your board prospect's spouse, family (and sometimes employer). Are they aware of the “time, talent and treasure” requirements of board service?

Bottom line: Do you really want someone on your board (even a well-known, well-connected person) who has greater passion for another ministry? Would you propose marriage to someone who has greater love for someone else?

And note this:

While it's not in the Bible that board members should limit board service to just one or two boards at a time, it's good wisdom. There are exceptions, of course. Some retirees might have time for more than two boards, if there are no calendar conflicts between the numerous board meeting dates.

In Stewards of a Sacred Trust: CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-Centered Organizations, David L. McKenna writes, “Christ-centered organizations are God-ordained ministries. That means if our faith-based ministries did not exist, they would have to be invented.” 

The bar is set high for board member recruitment—you're selecting people for your God-ordained ministry. Wow!

QUESTION: How will we discern and document that our board candidates have passion for our cause?

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