For decades, those of us who work in nonprofit board development have cracked the whip at board retreats to instill the basic concepts of board roles and responsibilities, chided governance committees about the lack of term limits and unmercifully preached the importance of shared goals and partnerships with the executive director. What we have not done well is provide the tools that board leaders need to move these concepts into action, building strong support systems to create value-based cultural environments that lead to both personal and organizational success.
Leadership coaching today is accepted as a valuable professional development tool for both nonprofit and corporate executives. Documented research as well as anecdotal evidence shows high performance results for strengthening working relationships, improving communication skills and increasing self-awareness, all within a setting that is confidential and safe for exploring creative ideas and problem solving. So, why not leadership coaching for board leaders?
Your first response may be that there are no resources to hire a coach for a board chair and secondly, board members do not have one extra volunteer hour to give to my organization. But wait! Just think of the wasted hours that board leaders expend grappling with their roles, struggling with both internal board relations and their executive partnerships. It is truly possible that time and money well-spent on developing leadership skills among the leaders, particularly the chair, will save money and frustration and move the board and the entire organization to the next level of success and productivity.
Let’s give board leaders the same advantage as corporate CEOs and senior managers, a tool box filled with leadership strategies that inspire every team member to assume a meaningful role,that make communication a two-way street, and that articulate visions to guide board and staff upward and onward. Through custom-tailored coaching, your board leaders will build on their strong skills to bring their leadership to its greatest potential!