Building Effective Community Board Leadership Skills
At some point in life, most of us will find ourselves serving on a community board such as a parent/teacher board, a church board, a local service organization or club board, the city council board, the Extension Board, or even the Board of County Commissioners.
We find ourselves in these roles for a variety of reasons. Some we chose to embark upon and sometimes we land on a board because we are left holding the short straw so to speak. Regardless of the reason for being on a board, we almost always find ourselves in the situation where we wish we had more information or we wish we had more training. Informed and committed board members are the key to healthy, effective boards and committees in our Johnson County communities. It is vital that board members do all they can to prepare themselves to be effective board members.
Conducting effective meetings is a must to get business accomplished. It is vital that board members understand their roles and responsibilities as a board member, basics of parliamentary procedure, and strategies to make meetings more productive and effective.
Boards are often, and should be, made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, interests, skills, generations, and personalities. However, this can result in a variety of personality and work styles that can often lead to board conflict. Understanding your fellow board members and how to use conflict effectively and productively can make you a valuable board member.
Often times, board members with little background find themselves fundraising and managing funds for the group, and conducting legal business. Board members should explore a board’s options for raising and managing money. As we conduct business it is important that we understand the legal and ethical guidelines that we should operate within and these are often found in the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and policies of the group. These documents should be visited by the group on an annual basis or anytime new members come on board.
Establishing a common mission and vision for the board and planning priorities for the future are keys to the success of the organization long therm. Board members with strategic planning skills are beneficial to any organization. If civic engagement and community involvement are your interest, check our classes page for upcoming workshops.
Kansas State University, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating. K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer, and is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to physical, vision, or hearing disability or a dietary restriction please contact your local extension office.