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Failures of Governance ~ Board Delinquency!

Members of Boards of Directors

They are recruited to provide organizational leadership and to champion the organizations on whose governing boards they sit. They ease into their seats with pride. They sign off on the list of expectations, one of the most important of which is to do what they can to generate revenue on behalf of that organization. Whether by contributing according to their means or cultivating donors or providing entrees to new sources of giving ~ they make promises.

And then they grow fat and happy, complacent and asleep at the wheel.

They aim low because aiming high would place more of a demand on their energy than they really want.

And then, when reminded of their duty of stewardship ~ when encouraged, supported, and finally pushed to fulfill their obligations and promises ~ they compensate for their failure of governance by firing the messenger.

All too often, in the course of my consulting with nonprofits, I have witnessed this sad dynamic. Again and again, responsible executives are the casualties of boards who have betrayed their oaths and doomed their organizations to mediocrity or worse.

There is an answer to this dilemma and it resides in the courage to fire the delinquents sooner rather than later before they wreak their damage! Yes, it is possible to fire the Board! Indeed, in the interests of organizational viability and on behalf of the cause for which it stands, it is an imperative.

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