Boredom Has No Place in the Boardroom

by Connie Hougland  |  August 10, 2017

I’m a little embarrassed to say this … but The Emoji Movie trailers have caused me to do some serious thinking. In the movie, the “meh” emoji realizes he can have more than one emotion, and he learns to break free from confinement. Now, I’m not thinking about seeing the movie—the reviews are directing me otherwise. I’m simply pondering the danger that a ‘meh’ attitude can have if we’re not careful.

In my role, I get to meet with a lot of leaders. Leaders who are passionate about ministry. Leaders who can talk about those they serve all day long with great passion. But if I shift the conversation and say, “So tell me about your board,” more often than not I get a ‘meh’ answer. Sometimes I’ll get an emphatic “They’re great!” or “They’re driving me crazy!”—but more often it’s simply a much less emphatic “They’re okay.”

Wait, what? We are talking about the leaders of the organization and our assessment is ‘meh’?

God’s Word is pretty clear on the topic of ‘meh’: “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

Typically it’s not because we have boring, apathetic people on our board but because we’re not convinced that boards matter. If we think boards are the necessary evil of being a nonprofit, that’s exactly how we will view and treat them.

So, let me challenge that thinking with 3 reasons why boards matter:

1. Boards are required. All nonprofit organizations need a board. They’re required because they matter! There are legal, ethical, and practical reasons to build a board when a nonprofit is created. Don’t settle for status quo just because it’s required; rather be relentless in going for excellence!

2. God Called a Body. In ministry, we’ve got a big vision and a meaningful mission we’re trying to accomplish, a mission that can’t be accomplished in isolation. God knows we will struggle and stumble—that’s the beauty of a board of directors. What we can accomplish together is so much greater than what any one of us can do alone!

3. Leadership is essential. If no one’s driving the bus, then the wheels on the bus go nowhere. Your board of director seats are actually the most valuable seats of your organization. When it comes to leading the organization, the buck stops with them. Leadership matters!

The board not only sets direction on how to accomplish the mission, but also they set the tone for how to approach it. Don’t let the vision be held hostage by apathy. Don’t let ‘meh’ be a descriptor of your board. Boredom has no place in the boardroom when there is still a mission to be accomplished and a vision to be reached!

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