What quality or qualities are most important for individuals serving on non-profit boards?
The overwhelming response was possessing a belief in and passion for the organization's mission. This was backed up by mentions of other leadership skills that flow naturally out of this first point.
- Lead by offering your background or experience in your area of responsibility on the board;
- Provide a succession plan;
- Lead by example by giving time and talents and supporting events/programs;
- Energize volunteers to do their best and do it NOW;
- Recognizing who the "players" are among your membership so you are bringing in people who might be even more passionate, committed and perhaps more qualified than YOU;
- Display wisdom based on marketplace realities (know when it's time for change).
One respondent in closing was reminded of a quote by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter that could best describe a non-profit leader:
A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be.