Saturday, July 20, 2013

The 6 D's: Documented Team Player

The most effective boards recruit team players. That's the big idea behind one of the “6 D's” criteria from the ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 1: Recruiting Board Members

No. 3: Documented Team Player
Competent in group process skills, effective listener; leverages own spiritual gifts and those of others (Rom. 12, Eph. 4, I Cor. 12).

Imagine a basketball player who never passes the ball. Or a quarterback on a football team who executes the quarterback sneak every play. Absurd.

So before you invite the next person to serve on your board—conduct some important due diligence:

  • Who will affirm that your board candidate is an effective team player?
  • Does your prospect know and leverage his or her spiritual gifts? Do they discover and leverage the gifts of people around them?
  • On other boards, or in other group situations, does this person listen to others or hog the discussion?
  • Would this person be an effective committee chair—capable in bringing the best out of others or does he or she relish the spotlight?
  • When the task is accomplished, does the team get the credit? Is God honored?

And one more caution! Before you pack your board with entrepreneurs, remember that while people with entrepreneurial gifts are often amazing idea machines, sometimes they have inadequate group process skills. Check references. You need the whole package—so don't propose marriage until you've “dated” this board prospect and observed if they share or hog the ball. (See No. 2: Demonstrated Passion.)

I know. It's a big challenge to find the right board members. 
You need people competent in board governance 
and competent in people skills.  
You need people with Christ-like character. You need men and women who have documented lives of both faithfulness and fruitfulness.

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us (in The Message), “But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way.”

QUESTION: How will we conduct our due diligence on future board members to ensure that they are competent team players and not Lone Rangers?

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