Leadership: Working Together

Working Together to Increase Success

By Kimberly Edwards

Powerpoint: Working Together to Increase Success

PDF: Working Together to Increase Success


Purpose and Expectations of Board
  • To govern the club in accordance with governing documents
  • To represent club values
  • To influence new participants to join and become active
Board Member Responsibilities
  • Know the governing documents.
  • Understand roles and relationships
  • Study how a board functions to carry out the shared mission, goals, priorities, initiatives
  • Work as a team with the president and other board members – contribute to a safe and trusting climate
  • Set the tone for the club – represent club values
    • Stay positive in communication and decision making
    • Attend meetings with an open mind; know that everything has multiple points of view
    • Avoid hearsay
    • Manage conflict
    • Realize perception as important as fact
Key Ingredients of an Effective Board
  • Shared mission/purpose
  • Trust and respect
  • Defined roles emphasizing complementary not competing contributions
  • Mix of talent, expertise and outlooks
  • A timeframe for review and renewal
Common Vision
  • Everyone gains when working toward a common goal
  • Members know  roles, relationships, activities, priorities
  • Vision and common understandings are reviewed regularly.
  • Problems that develop often go back to basic understandings.
Climate of trust = more efficient team
  • The right behaviors enhance trust.
  • Differing viewpoints are respected
  • A safe climate helps everyone to do their best.
  • Everyone contributes to a climate of courtesy.
  • Trust is carefully cultivated and protected, not compromised.
  • Trust/teamwork develops and matures through time and predictability.
Board sets the club tone
  • Individuals bear responsibility for maintaining positive relations in/outside board and modeling the integrity of club
  • Board discussions are “owned” by the group; authority lies with the board, not the member  – no one person speaks for the board
  • Members understand the responsibility for discretion
  • If a member repeats conversations out of context, intentions can get skewed
  • Members are “equal cogs” in group wheel
  • Each person is entitled to an opinion and each opinion is equally valid.
  • Behaviors that undermine trust risk sacrificing board efficiency
  • Members avoid: discussion monopolizing, unbending beliefs, and body language that can can threaten team mentality or lead to toxic climate.
The “We”
  • Board operates from a “we” – “we” issues/products.
  • When communicating, explain your intent, listen for intent, check out your assumptions
  • Communication builds on the thoughts of others…don’t denigrate at meetings or in emails.
  • All members wear different hats, representing experiences for which they were chosen.
  • Each member brings a different set of skills, viewpoints, big-picture and detail
  • Each member makes recommendations based on the best for everyone.
  • Decision making draws on the varied knowledge, experience and skills of members laboring toward a common outcome.
  • Multiple perspectives fuel synergy and energize decision making.
  • Results reflect diverse discussion, broad ownership, fresh ideas and maximized resources
  • Consensus means that a subject has been fully discussed, all stances aired, pros and cons brainstormed, and everyone agrees that he/she can live with the decision.
  • This does not mean that all ideas are accepted.
  • Everyone is responsible for managing conflict.
Culture of validation
  • Variation exists in motivation among board members.
  • People will contribute generously if their motivation is nourished.
  • Some people are motivated by causes and others by artistic devotion, status, money, or loyalty to a brand.
Email – for New and Continuing Board Members – Suggest Board Discussion/Agreement
  • Keep messages brief and concise (risks confusion).
  • Know protocol governing cc’s; avoid bcc’s (jeopardizes trust).
  • Craft subject line that best conveys the content (enhances efficiency).
    • Maintain professional, respectful tone, as E-mail messages can be misinterpreted.
    • Discuss email communication preferences and agreements openly at beginning of board year. Make sure everyone is heard equally, not just the techies.
    • In most cases, avoid “Reply All” to non-content responses such as “Thank you”.
    • Avoid caps, bold, underlining, even multiple colors…may have unintended effect of shouting.
    • Consider minimizing group emails between meetings except for straightforward or vital communication such as agendas.
    • Minimize voting by email except in emergencies, as full-board “discussion” is difficult, unless all board members agree.— Do P & Ps support email voting?
  • Respond with specific, numbered answers; don’t give a generic answer to “all of the above”.
  • Avoid forwarding emails from others without asking permission (jeopardizes trust and predictability). Forwarding emails others can be potentially destructive, so if a board member does it unilaterally, consider stopping the behavior immediately.
  • Avoid sending or forwarding group emails that are potentially libilous to CWC or that contain  derogatory statements about people. Board members should not participate in this activity in any way.
  • Apply zero tolerance to rude or hostile emails from board members. Such emails should be stopped immediately by branch officers; if not stopped, fellow board members should weigh in and ask the member to stop.
  • Keep your word
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Admit mistakes
  • Forgive mistakes
  • Be fair