Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Resigning from the Board: The Tipping Points

Is there a tipping point in board service when it’s time to exit the board?

How should board members spiritually discern if their engagement is inadequate (or even mediocre) and a resignation might be in order? How do you know when it’s time to free up space for new board blood and new energy?

Attorney Jon Ruybalid says there are “thought patterns and questions that can help a board member determine if the time has come to resign.” In his August/September 2014 column, “In the Name of the Law,” in InSite® magazine, published by Christian Camp and Conference Association, he gives five poke-in-the-rib statements to consider:

  • You have stopped reading the board meeting materials in advance.
  • You realize that you use board meeting discussions to challenge other directors, find errors in their thinking, criticize decisions and try to gain negative support.
  • You do not recognize names of staff members or programs that are brought up at a board meeting.
  • You wonder to yourself if board membership is worth it because you are not getting much out of it.
  • You are not able to support board decisions that are inconsistent with your preferences.

If you’re not getting much out of board service, says Ruybalid, who has represented nonprofits for almost 20 years and serves as CCCA’s legal counsel, he adds,
“Board service may have become [more] about your personal benefit rather than the benefit and service to the organization,
staff and those impacted by its ministry.”

Are you at the tipping point yet? Is there someone on your board who needs a God-honoring nudge (or wake-up call)? According to the ECFA 2012 Governance Survey, with responses from 1,600 CEOs, board chairs and board members of ECFA-accredited organizations, asking under-performing board members to exit was the “most challenging problem” of 20 effectiveness indicators.

Heed King David’s aspirations for his son in 1 Chronicles 29:19 (The Message):
“And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.”

QUESTION: Are you fully engaged—with an uncluttered and focused heart—in your role as a board member? If not, what are you going to do about it?

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