Serving On A Board Of Directors


            Currently, I sit on a Board of Directors. It’s a good feeling, being part of the everyday machinery that drives an organization forward. At least I’m pretty sure I help move the organization forward…

            If you’ve never served on a Board of Directors, there are often misconceptions about how these groups work for the organization they were intended to represent. For example, a typical meeting of an average Board of Directors might look something like this:

1)      Call Meeting To Order.

Essentially exactly what that sounds like. The “Chair” bangs a gavel, in an attempt to momentarily divert other Board members away from their Blackberries or cell-phones. The meeting can officially commence.

2)      Review of Minutes From Previous Meeting.

Not that anyone in attendance will have read the dull things, but it is a formality that stands in the way of the catered lunch…

3)      Review of Old Business.

This part of the Board Meeting attempts to resolve outstanding issues, such as why the caterers always seem to forget pickles when preparing the luncheon fare.

4)      New Business.

Finally, the exciting part of an average Board or Executive meeting! This is where a Director will bring in new and exciting ideas, and the other members of the Board are able to shoot them down. Or support them. Or shoot them down. Majority rules in a democracy!

5)      Officer & Committee Reports.

After the brisk and invigorating excitement of “New Business”, each member of the Board is required to present a report – essentially proof that they have done something in their capacity, so as to justify the catered lunch. Generally, this should be a follow-up of ongoing items, but if a Board member has just returned from a two-week golf get-away in Arizona, their report may be more along the lines of how their portfolio is still sitting on a desk in the home office…

6)      Next Meeting.

Again, exactly what it sounds like. Unless the date is fixed every month, the members of the Board will choose a date for their next meeting (which after some discussion about that golf get-away in Arizona, may be scheduled for “on the road”…).

7)      Adjourn

A poor pronunciation of “adieu”, meaning “farewell” - essentially signifying the end of the Board meeting.


Well, there you have it. As I said earlier, if you’ve never served on a Board of Directors before, there are often misconceptions regarding what goes on within one.  Board members most often volunteer from within the very same organization they serve, and put in many hours to ensure that the rest of the membership is best served and represented by their efforts. Often while missing out on fresh pickles, due to incompetent catering staff.

If you’re still curious, consider running for a term yourself, whenever the next opportunity presents itself. It is a good feeling, to be giving back to your chosen endeavours.

            But make sure you get elected before the road trip to Arizona!!