So, What Did You Expect?

When I graduated from being a member of the parish school board to my first position on a local non-profit’s board of directors, it was an eye-opening elevation. 

As a long-time volunteer for the organization, I saw the invitation as an honor ... a recognition of the time I had contributed.

I was also flattered when told my insights and experience would be a valuable addition to the marketing committee ... in obvious recognition of my talent.

When, a few weeks into my term, the board president asked for an appointment, I readily agreed. Imagine my surprise when she asked for a multi-year, multi-thousand commitment of my treasure as well.

The old time, talent or treasure commitment I thought I made fell far short of the time, talent AND treasure expected.

I served a single term on that board, never fully recovering from the initial dissonance. Which means I also never really committed in any of those three critical areas as fully as I might have.

In the years since I’ve grown to appreciate that, with a greater understanding and acceptance of what was expected, I might have also had a greater impact in the position.

Every time an executive director laments his or her relationship with the board – especially in terms of failure to meet expected levels of performance – I question how clearly they see the relationship between recruiting and results.

But that may be a topic for another day. Stay tuned.