Don’t Underestimate the Value of an Effective Board Leader

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In a perfect world . . . all missions are inspiring, all staff members are competent and everyone works diligently. Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in this perfect world?! Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. In the real world, to be a successful organization, a clear vision and depth in quality of board leadership are essential.


Youthful, qualified and generous board members should not be an oxymoron. It’s possible to build that “dream team” board . . . but not without some strategy, hard work and training. An organizational vision may initially attract board members but outcomes keep them engaged.


One of our clients has an excellent and aggressive board that is multigenerational. Former board members don’t walk away after their board leadership term expires. Instead, they get involved on their favorite committee or become part of a “kitchen cabinet” that provides wisdom, insight and strategic direction.


The transformation of a board doesn’t happen overnight. The first step is having a strategic plan for board development that may include:


  • Defined expectations of board members and a criteria that sets the bar high;
  • Term limits for board leadership that establish a maximum length of consecutive years one can serve;
  • A game plan that builds informal structure defining how retiring board members can be engaged and productive;
  • . . . and more.


Think bigger, have higher expectations and recruit exceptionally well. If you don’t do it . . . others will.


John Pruehs


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