Search Results for: why term limits matter

Why Board Term Limits Matter

term limits

I have had this conversation so often I can write both parts of the script.

Joan: “So when does your chair’s term end?”
E.D.: “Oh, well we don’t really have term limits.”
Joan: “You don’t really have them?”
E.D.: “I think they are in the by laws or maybe they aren’t – I don’t really know – it doesn’t matter I suppose. Board members would revolt if we tried to enforce them”
Joan: “Revolt?” Why?
E.D.: “Well Cindy has been willing to be board chair for the last six years and frankly, no one else wants the job. And as I think about, no one else would be very good.”

So what exactly is the BIG FAT PROBLEM?

Ignoring the bylaws? Nope. Although that is a problem.

No mention that Cindy is a great chair? Nope not the headline.

No one else wants the job? Getting warmer, but nope.

Give up?

OK, let’s talk about the big fat problem and why term limits really really matter:

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Ep 135: Building the Resilience to Withstand a Disaster (with Nina Meehan)

nonprofits are messyWhen you want to work effectively with your board, work on your staffing structure, be present for your family, and ALSO have time for standup paddleboard yoga – you need to really reflect on your priorities. My guest today really did all the work – she got an executive coach and put her life in order leading up to March 2020 when she thought she had it all down pat. Then a global pandemic shut down her entire industry. She needed resilience.

In today’s episode, Nina Meehan, CEO and Founder of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, explains how she found herself with no revenue and no live theatre. But she took the inability to do the usual things, her experience as a mother, and her newly renovated relationship with her board, to create an entirely new model. And it worked so well during the pandemic that it will stay with her institution and with a conglomerate of 41 theatres across the country (who produced A Kid’s Show About Racism) for the long haul. That’s resilience.

This episode is about the opportunity to stop, reflect, and re-emerge stronger and better even in the darkest of times. The principle — always focus on your big rocks!

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What If Your Board Just Disappeared?

board disappeared

I have always been a sporty person. As a kid, softball and basketball (yes, even though I stand at a towering 5 foot 2 inches tall).

In the last decade I have been more strategic. I picked up racquetball a while back – only needs two people, can play regardless of the weather and heavy cardio. Next up for me will be pickleball and platform tennis.

I do love a good sport. Great for socializing and not gonna lie. I have a competitive streak.

I’ve learned that nonprofit leaders love sports too.

And I’ve learned they have a favorite – Board Bashing!

Executive Directors consider it sport to blame the board for lots of things – not responding to emails, not reading board reports, focusing on the trees rather than the forest. And oh yes, then there is the sport of nagging board members to raise money and getting nowhere.

Executive Directors seem to really enjoy complaining about their boards. It’s like they would like the board to just go away and leave them alone.

So today, let’s play that game.

What if after a lengthy nagging session at a board meeting, your board members stood up and never returned.

Or if one day you sat at your desk and said, “I wish my board would disappear.”

And they did.

What would your E.D. life look like without a board?Continue Reading

Ep 76: The 4 Obstacles to a Diverse Board

nonprofits are messy

It seems to me that an all white board for the NAACP wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense but having some diversity on a board may be more critical than you think. Without diversity boards lack differing perspectives, skill sets, and backgrounds.

It’s time to speak the truth. To stop hiding behind ‘code.’ Seems to me it is time for us to take a close look at what we mean by diversity and why it matters.

I hear it all the time. “We need to diversify our board.” It’s interesting how often people answer the question using some form of the word “diversity”.

We need diverse perspectives. We have to avoid groupthink – it’s probably impacting our ability to think differently.

I believe there are 4 primary obstacles to building a diverse board. In this episode, I explain what they are and I’ll tell you exactly how you can overcome them.

In this episode

  • What I mean by “diversity”
  • How do founders build boards?
  • What your nonprofit has in common with a Broadway play?
  • The 4 obstacles to a diverse board and how to overcome them
  • How much planning is really necessary for diversity?
  • The importance of “layering”
  • Truth or myth:
    • All board members must be wealthy or know people who are
    • The best place to find board members is in your hometown
    • Term limits are not practical

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