Rewards and challenges
Making a difference
It is rewarding seeing the visions of your board come to fruition and benefit the community it serves. Your contributions to the board’s achievements can bring a great deal of satisfaction.
Being a leader
The board is responsible for the strategic decision-making and direction of an organisation: board membership offers the opportunity to influence and lead the organisation.
Working in a team
To be an effective board, members must operate as a team. It can be an exhilarating experience working towards the same goal with like-minded dedicated people. Another benefit of board membership is the expansion of your professional and personal networks.
Developing skills and knowledge
Whether it is learning to oversee finances, deepening your understanding of governance standards, or broadening your knowledge of a sector - board service can open opportunities to develop your skills and add to your resume.
Finding the time
Most board members need to juggle their board responsibilities with other work and life commitments; board membership can mean making compromises in other areas of your life. It is important to find out what is expected of you and consider whether you have the time to commit to the role. For instance, you will need to consider the time it takes to prepare for meetings as well as the meetings themselves.
Being entrusted with overseeing an organisation – no matter how small – is a significant responsibility not to be considered lightly. Ensure that you feel comfortable with the level of responsibility before you take on a role. It is important to find out what you will be personally liable for as a director of any organisation you are thinking of joining.
Just because your board is heading in the same direction doesn’t mean you will all agree on how to get there. Conflicting views are inevitable but shouldn’t be considered negative – constructive debate is a sign of a healthy board. Be prepared to put your view forward but to also listen and give due consideration to the differing perspectives of your fellow board members.