The role of a board member in a nonprofit organization is to govern and guide the organization to achieve its mission effectively. Board members have the care of the organization in their hands as representatives of the public trust.
With that in mind, their wisdom and experience is necessary in order to reach the right decisions. Why is it then that board members are often reluctant to speak up during difficult decisions? It takes courage to ask difficult questions and it takes even more courage to disagree with what the majority may be saying.
Board members are human beings and as humans we fear rejection and we fear being wrong. Board members often feel that they may not know enough to express an opinion. Or, a member might think that others are right because they have served on the board for longer.
Please, board members, speak your minds fearlessly and respectfully. Every organization deserves the benefit of the wisdom around the table. It is these nuggets of fearless wisdom and questioning that will drive the right decisions. Silence has killed a lot of people in the history of the world. Don’t let silence based on fear of being wrong damage your organization. Our organizations deserve better than that.