Lake-side thoughts: So you want to be on the board …

Day 9 … A colleague asked me for recommendations on questions for a board candidate to determine if they were right for the job. It made me reflect on how so many of us don’t bother with that step at all. We don’t put as much thought and effort into finding the right person for the board as we do in finding the right person for a paid position. Yet in many ways the volunteer leader has more power and often can do more damage (whether through bad actions or inaction).

One of my favorite sources for board interview questions is a Guidestar article “What to ask every prospective board member.” In particular, I like these:

  • How much time can you give to us?
  • As you think about the three primary board roles—ambassador, advocate, and asker—in which role(s) do you think you will want to be most active?

 Three other questions I’ve used or heard used:

  • How will the organization benefit from your participation?
  • What would make for a satisfying board experience for you?
  • What kind of work do you hope you don’t have to do as a member of the board?

 There were two that she is using that I’ll add to my arsenal:

  • If the Board took a vote and moved forward in a direction that was the opposite position of your chapter, how would you respond if you received an email or question from your colleagues regarding this outcome?
  • Describe in your words the association’s strategic vision and how our chapters support that strategic vision.

It would be interesting to post these questions with the descriptions of your volunteers roles and on the call for volunteers. Do you have any others you’ve found useful?