Without telling anyone I decided to take the summer off from the blog. Unfortunately, I took the summer off from being a board member too. I didn’t tell anyone about this either.
It was not my intention to stop being a decent board member, it just happened. I got wrapped up in my consulting work, trying to run a 5K in under 30 minutes, and writing a book… on board engagement by the way. So here I am at the end of the summer and there is a bunch of overdue items that I said I would do, but have not delivered on them… like making donor calls, working on the organization’s strategic plan, and being present for the outgoing CEO.
One of the hardest parts of board membership is being engaged when you do not feel engaged. I could blame this on the organization, the cause, or (worse) my fellow board members and the staff I work with, but the reality is my engagement is my responsibility. I have had a list of items in my to do box and I chose to ignore it.
When I was an executive director, I hated board members who procrastinated. They put me in the unenviable position of having to call on them and ask if they did their work. I used to think… “What am I, their mother?” I promised myself I would never do that when I was a board member. Oops! I just did.
Sometimes work is just work. It has to get done. We have to inch our way forward to the next opportunity. Board leadership, like any other job, requires a focus on getting things done even when it doesn’t inspire you that very moment. But like most good things, all those little steps that are taken both individually and with your colleagues, comes together into something wonderful, meaningful, and engaging.
Now, where is that list?