Ten good ideas for new board presidents
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Ten good ideas for new board presidents

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Ten good ideas for new board presidents Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Ten Good Ideas for New Congregational Presidents Presented by Ian EvisonSponsored by the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • 2.  This webinar gives ten pieces of simple, straightforward advice about how to make your time of service as board president productive for the congregation and for you. This will not give you a formula for success. It will invite you to use the wisdom you already have about how to help make the experience go well.Aim of Tonight’s Webinar
  • 3. Primary source of tonight’s wisdom is theexperience of your fellow board presidents.It is their advice for making your term onthe board more effective and satisfying.And, yes, the service as board presidentshould be a fulfilling part of your ownreligious and leadership journey.Primary Source of Tonight’sWisdom
  • 4. This webinar is designed as a companionpresentation to “Board Responsibilities:What Is a Board to Do?” by Lisa Presleyand archived on:http://www.midwestuuleadership.org/category/leadership/This Presentation Has a Cousin
  • 5. Prepare before your term begins. Talk withthe past presidents and senior minister, ifthere is one. Review key past documentslike minutes, policy documents, andstrategic plans. It is empowering toarticulate current work as part of anongoing history of work. It is dispiriting fora board to feel that work alreadyaccomplished has been forgotten.Good Idea #1
  • 6. Begin with a board orientation. This maybe a separate board retreat or the focus ofthe first meeting of the year. It shouldinclude orientation to the position and thecongregation. Review the board covenant.Create one if it does not exist. Discussmain priorities for the year. What are thethree main things the board needs toaccomplish this year? Introduce yourselvesto each other.Good Idea #2
  • 7. Prepare each meeting. Request agenda itemsin advance. Especially in larger congregations,review agenda a week in advance withexecutive committee and ministerialleadership. Agenda should include timeallocations for each item. Ask about each ofthe key priorities: What needs to happennow? Whose work is it? Distribute reports andminutes in advance and accept them in aconsent agenda, in one motion (ten minutes).Good Idea #3
  • 8. Focus the agenda on items ready fordecision and that only can be decided bythe board. Clarify what can be decided bycommittees and staff. Changes in policiesand changes in budget allocations shouldtake most of the attention. Leave time forstrategic discussions: Where are weheaded? Beware of agenda items whichinvite the board to “just discusssomething” or to “give their buy in.”Good Idea #4
  • 9. Begin with check-in, reading, and chalicelighting as appropriate to yourcongregation. Frame the work as religiouswork and as work important to youpersonally.Good Idea #5
  • 10. Be active in chairing the meeting. Use thestep forward, step back principle from ouryouth leadership: Call on people who arequiet. Ask those who speak at length orrepeatedly to step back. Rescheduleagenda items that turn out not to be readyfor decision. Thank people for theircontributions. End on time.Good Idea #6
  • 11. Keep your focus on managing the flow of the work, not on doing the work. This should feel very different from being a committee chair. Ask others to prepare work for decision by the board. Praise those who do this preparatory work. Set reasonable limits and boundaries for your own work. Don’t interrupt family time to take board calls.Good Idea #7
  • 12. Appoint a time-keeper and a processobserver for each meeting. At the end ofthe meeting the process observer shouldcomment briefly (without discussion) onwhether the agenda was followed, thequality of interaction, voices that wereincluded and not included.Good Idea #8
  • 13. When the unexpected arises, stop anddiscuss what needs to be done and bywhom. Avoid becoming the human shockabsorber for the unexpected events thatbefall the congregation.Good Idea #9
  • 14. Nurture a spirit of interest, exploration, and discovery in the work. Avoid a spirit of overwhelmed diligence. Your spirit will convey to the whole of the board. Serve in a spirit which invites others to want to serve also.Good Idea #10
  • 15.  Kenn Hurto on basics of running a board meeting. http://www.msduua.org/wp- content/uploads/2009/12/RunMeeting.pdf Don Skinner on board basics, focusing on role of preparation. http://www.uua.org/governance/102108.sht ml Lisa Presley, with focus on role of the board: http://www.midwestuuleadership.org/categor y/leadership/Resources
  • 16. Thank you for your service to our congregations!The Staff of the MidAmerica Region of our Unitarian Universalist Association