Great Advice for Board Candidates (and Boards) By: Mark Rogers -BoardProspects

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Sometimes we are not fortunate enough to realize great advice until it is too late.  Several months ago I met a seasoned board member (of public, private and non-profit boards) and we had a long discussion about board of directors’ qualifications.  He provided me with a piece of advice that I’m sure many corporate board members wish they had before joining their board.  The advice? “Never join a board of directors unless you would be willing to serve as chair of that board.”

Serving as chair of a board is not easy.  The title carries with it additional board member responsibilities that are often unrecognized by fellow board members.  So why would anyone be willing to ascend to this position?  For some it is the prestige of the title:  “she serves as Chair of the Board for XYZ Corporation.”  For those serving on non-profit board of directors, it is often a labor of love related to the mission.  In the public company space the title comes with additional compensation.  Whatever the reason may be, it is not a position for everyone who serves on a board of directors – which is why the advice from this esteemed board member seemed so odd to me.  He acknowledged that not everyone is meant to serve on a board of directors and not every board member is meant to serve as chair of the board.  But, when an individual agrees to serve on a board they should at least be willing to serve as chair of that board if they are ever asked.  Such willingness demonstrates both the individual’s commitment to the organization as well as their understanding of what may be expected of them.  It also ensures that the individual will ascend to the position of board member with the appropriate motivation to learn what would be necessary to eventually serve as chair.  The result is a board that is at all times working together to achieve the level of excellence which is expected of it by the organization and its stakeholders.

This advice is extremely useful for any organization as they engage in board member recruitment.  Although I do not believe the willingness to serve as chair of the board needs to be added to a list of board of directors’ responsibilities, it is a worthwhile question to pose to prospective candidates, providing tremendous insight into their commitment to the organization.  Whether the individual has the commensurate capabilities to serve as chair of the board can only be determined through their board service.

Source: Great Advice for Board Candidates (and Boards) By: Mark Rogers -BoardProspects

About Stephen G. Barr, Group Publisher

Author, Syndicated Columnist, Editor In-Chief and Group Publisher at SGB Media Group, a social media marketing firm specializing in digital media content production, publishing, affiliate marketing, public relations and advertising. Over 25 years experience in retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, affiliate marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, non-profit fund raising. Event planning, promotion, production and MC/Host at public events. Author, Editor & Publisher of 35 syndicated, digital publications utilizing multiple digital distribution channels in conjunction with launching and administrating national advertising campaigns for major Fortune 500 advertisers in partnership with Google, Ning, Facebook, Myspace, Yahoo, DoubleClick, LinkShare, PepperJam and other industry leading third party affiliate networks. Product development team member from conception to launch on many websites, tangible goods and organizational structure for start ups. Specialties: Public relations, retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, blogging, email campaigns, affiliate/performance marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, event production & promotion, non-profit fund raising and tasteful, responsible adult content publishing. An internationally recognized and read social media columnist & pundit on The Examiner, Associate Content, Vator.tv, X-Biz.net and Technorati and his own affiliated sites.
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