Professional football is exciting to watch. But for the players and the coaches, it’s more than just a game, it is serious business that mandates a certain array of skills. When it comes to Draft Day, coaches and management search to create the ultimate dream team. For associations, it’s no different. You can still follow the same accredited association recruitment strategies that the NFL pros use. By filling your board with members who carry the critical skills for success, there’s no restriction to how much your organization can obtain.
Whether searching for a quarterback, defensive lineman or a kicker, teams seek a certain combination of skills: desire, commitment, determination, agility, reliability and dependability are but a few that can be named. The goal is to ultimately create a gridiron dream team, one that will dominate the field with the power of a well-oiled machine. Whether it being able to execute under intensive pressure or to have an assorted depository of thoughts and ideas present, drafting your board is one of the essential elements to an association’s development and success. That is why it is important to follow accredited association recruitment strategies to be able to achieve such victory.
The first question to examine is ‘Does this person want the position?’ Is someone raising their hand to join the board because they feel required or because it will boost their resume appeal? Not saying that those are wrongful reasons, but the member should also desire being a part of the company and be enthusiastic about giving their time, energy and commitment. No one has ever stepped down from a volunteer board and said, “Whew that was easy.” It’s going to be hard and sometimes stressful work. It will take people away from their job, from their family, and from their hobbies. Make sure the person recognizes the level of commitment and has the determination to embrace it.
When it comes to football, coaches want their players to be agile — capable to bob and weave down the field, evade being tackled and get the football into the end zone to score the touchdown. That agility applies to the business world as well. It is no less critical when it comes to assisting on a board. You want people who can wear multiple hats, manage and execute multiple responsibilities, work with different characters and, ultimately, get the job done.
You also need to know on whom you can rely on. Those who show up for practice on time and prepared, follow the training regimen and listen to their coaches are the desirable players to have. When searching for board members, one of the crucial accredited association recruitment strategies is to look for someone who is reliable. Dependability is key for board members as well. But there’s added pressure, because board duties are often in addition to the members’ full time, paid jobs and that thing called “life.” Yet, it’s still critical for board members to call into meetings, show up for in-person discussions and follow up on projects between meetings. If board members don’t show up or participate, it can drag the whole team down and slow the team’s progress, which is never a preferred thing.
For a football player, consistency is the Holy Grail. Every coach wishes for a player who will perform the same or improves each and every time he’s on the field. The same is true for board members. Someone who attends the first meeting and comes up with a brilliant idea is fantastic, but what happens if that person never comes to another meeting? What about board members who unexpectedly don’t have time to put to required tasks outside of meetings? Accredited association recruitment strategies dictate that you need people to bring the same energy, commitment, and passion to every meeting and every task that’s put in front of them. When you put in steady effort, others notice, admire it and try to match it.
Handling stress. Like it or not, it’s a par. The key is figuring out how to handle that stress and use it to your benefit. Need to figure out a conference theme in two hours? Of course that’s stressful. However, the key is recognizing that difficulty can provide the motivation you need to start coming up with as many ideas as possible. Lo and behold, 50 horrible ideas can sometimes be trailed by that one stroke of genius for which you’ve been searching. Being able to perform under pressure helps every team accomplish its goals. When a player surrenders to stress, it can lead to inaction, missed opportunities, or worse, grave mistakes.
Think Diverse Thoughts. On the football field that means having a roster composed of players that have different talents, skill levels and years of experience. When looking for board members, these same accredited association recruitment strategies can be used. On a board, it means having a diverse group of people. This can come from a range of experiences, skills, industries, and age. Assortment of thought, age and experience will guarantee that your board members challenge each other and work together to bring frontward new ideas that will only benefit the larger association.
Take some time to think about who you want to compile your board and what qualities they possess. When it comes to selecting your next board of directors, selections built on a particular set of criteria will only bring advantages to your organization. Be on the lookout for new talent that can bring variety to your board. What are the top key attributes you have in mind?
If you would like to leverage CMA’s experience in helping your association maximize effectiveness, we’d love to chat. Please contact Art Cianfano, Association Manager, at 609-269-2390 or email us at email@example.com.