Pro Tip: Screening Nominees

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Have you ever said yes to something without fully realizing all that the job entails? Quite often Board members are nominated for and go through the process of becoming a Board member without full recognition of the time, effort, and skills that go into the job.

In an article titled A Faster Path to Better Boards, by Mark Athitakis, he explains a list of options that Mark Engle, DM, FASAE, CAE principal of Association Management Center provides in order to ensure you are nominating and electing sound Board members to manage your organization effectively. To begin with, Engle suggests creating an introductory video that is shown to nominees during the online nomination process to explain all the required duties that come with the position. This way, all responsibilities are laid out for the nominee, and they can then decide for themselves if the position fits into their time and lifestyle before committing to the Board of Directors.

In addition to sharing a short video detailing the duties a Board member must fulfill, Mark Engle also encourages organizations to provide self-assessment screenings to all nominees. A self-assessment screening is an excellent way to ensure your Board members are aware of the values and culture that must be upheld by the organization, its members, and the Board. In order to effectively run and manage a well-functioning and beneficial organization, the culture and values must be aligned with that of the broader organization and ensuring your Board members are aware of the ways in which their personality and leadership styles can uphold and improve the organization is a great way to determine who is most fit for the role.

A self-assessment can include a variety of questions, ranging from personality traits to leadership styles to problem solving skills. In order to get the most information out of your self-assessment as possible, you should tailor your questions to your organization’s mission, values, and culture. Nominees can rank themselves on a scale from 5, always, to 1, never. Some examples of questions that could be beneficial include:

  • I communicate effectively with the organization weekly
  • I understand the mission and vision of the organization
  • I am able to dedicate 5 hours per week to serve the needs of the organization

For more examples of self-assessment topics that may be beneficial for your organization, check out the Board Member Self-Assessment that AMC uses.

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