If you’re like me, you have a tendency to want to control as much as possible of your work life.
That makes us good at what we do. You don’t want someone indifferent handling donor care – or data entry – right?
But that’s a different dance when you’re working with volunteers – especially board members. We have to remember that board members have accepted
We have to remember that board members have accepted responsibility for our organizations. We have to be partners.
I know. Sometimes you feel like you’re pushing string.
You know the outcomes you want.
You choreograph the dance carefully so everyone feels good and you get where you need to get.
It becomes reflexive though, and that’s a problem.
Once upon a time, a colleague and I pulled together a group of board all-stars to work on a special campaign idea. We weren’t at all sure it would fly. But we trusted this group to be the best possible sounding board. And we were ready to abandon the whole thing if they weren’t enthusiastic.
That didn’t happen.
Though we facilitated, this group directed the campaign: the case, the prospects, the solicitations.
When there was disagreement, we stepped back, and they came to a consensus.
They owned this thing.
And every time we thought they might be ready to wrap it, they came back for more!
We raised far more than we anticipated. We energized and engaged group of board members – who became more active because they felt so connected.
And their enthusiasm brought us closer to a key group of supporters.
None of it would have happened had we not trusted that our board members cared as much as we did.
And then let go.
Photo credit: garryknight