Breaking in a New Board

I find it very interesting when a new board is installed. Just recently, one client changed to a new board. The president has been a board member for a couple of years and the secretary had not been on the board. Both realize that they need training for their positions.

The secretary was easy. I loaned him my copy of Every Meeting Needs a Great Secretary and my copy of Eli Mina’s book for secretaries. Those who works cover everything that a secretary needs to know to do a good job.

Working with the president is going to take a lot more than anything that can be found in books. She needs help in handling the culture of the meetings she chairs. In the board meetings, the various cultures that are present have to be handled carefully. The post board meeting discussion with her is going to be the important educational time and will often involve me asking her the right questions so she can see where her successes were and what she needs to do to make good adjustments. This is where I have to be an artist.

Time will tell how successful I am.

The Chair and the Secretary

It is interesting that Robert’s Rules of Order list eleven duties for the Chair and eleven for the Secretary. These are the two offices that are most intertwined. In a good meeting, they are sitting next to each other (the parliamentarian is sitting on the other side of the Chair!)

The duties are closely related to each other as the Chair and the Secretary need to be in close communication. The Chair’s wording of a motion is the final form –that is what the members vote on.. At the same time, the wording that goes in the minutes might be the one that the membership approves as the final wording. It needs to be a situation where the two work together.

Is getting the two to agree easy — yes, as it is a simple matter of looking through the real mirror. If both sides are hones, an agreement can be reached quickly and this is what is wanted.

The Chair and the Secretary are a powerful team if, and only if, they want to work together.