For most chambers there isn’t a lot of choice in board members or ambassadors. Often we’re just looking for warm bodies who are willing to dedicate time and energy to the chamber and we nominate from a small pool.
But if you have the luxury of having the reputation of a great board, and you have people clamoring to become a part of it, here’s how you can tell the difference between someone who will be a good board member and someone who will be astounding in the role.
Someone Who Understands Expectations
It’s critical that your board understands what is expected of them as far as meeting attendance, event attendance, and social media sharing are concerned. However, a great board member is not someone who meets expectations. You’re not looking for someone to do the minimum in this role. You want them to understand the expectations and then blow them out of the water.
Passion Over Experience
With your board you’re going to establish expectations and the importance of their roles. They needn’t have served on a non-profit board in the past. What you’re looking for is a track record of passionately supporting the growth of your community. You want someone whose attitude is infectious.
However, most chambers’ boards are the governing body that ultimately make the decisions so you do want them to have business experience. If you have someone with no experience who really wants to make a difference, start them off as an ambassador so they can get an appreciation for how the chamber works. Then listen to their suggestions. A fresh set of eyes may bring something to you that you haven’t noticed before.
Has the Time
Thanks to shows about corporate greed some people hear the word “board” and think that means they get a paycheck for placing their name on stationary. A chamber board member must devote a large amount of time to meetings, planning, and the governing role. It’s a very in-depth commitment. You need someone who understands the amount of time required and has the time to put in.
Once you find great board members, make sure you appreciate their efforts. By publicly thanking and lauding them, you’re also planting the seeds of interest among your members to serve as future board members.
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