If you want to make a bad impression as the newest member of the Board of Directors, here’s some tips:
- Miss the first two meetings then tell them you read that the bylaws permits two “unexcused absences” so you thought you’d take them at the start of your term.
- Walk into the board meeting and ask the executive director to get you a coffee.
- Arrive late for every meeting and immediately ask “Would you mind recapping what I missed so I can get up to speed?”
- Do not read the agenda and especially don’t open your board packet you’ve had for weeks. Make a big show of opening it at the board table and whine about much there is to read.
- Make snide comments about the agenda and it’s lack of addressing important issues. Be sure to make it clear that you haven’t read thes strategic plan.
- Make a habit of interrupting everyone. All. The. Time.
- Make it clear to the Board that you are much too busy for things like fundraising and committees.
- Always be the first out the door at the end of the meeting, complaining about how you disagree with the outcome as you leave.
- Complain loudly when you don’t get your way.
- Skip the mandatory new Board member orientation and don’t read the Board Member Policy Handbook. Make sure you then ask lots of questions that you would clearly know if you had attended.
Obviously this isn’t what you really want to do. Best Practice? Prepare, attend all the time on time, be at the Board orientation training, listen, cooperate, discuss options and work to advance the goals of the organization.
It takes work to be a good Board member, but it is worth the effort and you can make a difference