I am publishing a series on the desirable characteristics of board members. This is the second one. Last week I talked about two characteristics – playing well with others and being open- minded. This week I am talking about being brave.
A board member has to be able to say when they do not agree with a point of view. At board meetings sometimes a person will go along with the majority viewpoint when they don’t actually agree because they are too timid to say so. You have to be able to ask questions when you don’t understand something. What you might find out is that there are others who do not understand, that it is not just you, so you ask the question and you hear murmurs of agreement around the table. You are serving on a board to share your opinions with others, not just to take up space around the table. If you don’t think you can speak up when you don’t agree then don’t join a board, maybe a committee would be more appropriate for you.