Boards that Rock!

images-1Most of us have served on a committee or a board that has functioned extremely bad. You know, the ones that start super late, once they start, the one in charge did not really plan that well and is unorganized, people interrupt and before long you realized another Tuesday was wasted. Your time was wasted. Your ideas were wasted. If only someone would have taken control of this meeting so that your ideas would have been heard and progress would have been measured.

Having a strong board that listens, gets people up to speed, casts vision, allows for people to express their opinions yet keeps the flow of the meeting happening and holds the CEO accountable is what we are supposed to do. What is the role of the board? What should we be accomplishing?

There is a great book called “The imperfect board member – discovering the seven disciplines of governance excellence.” by Jim Brown. ORDER THE BOOK HERE

Jim explains the role of the board with this graph or diamond rock:

He explains the 7 disciplines of what we need to do as a board. A board that leads is a board that understands these disciplines. He goes on to explain each one of these 7 disciplines that can transform your board. They include: Owner Expectation – Respect; Organizational Results – Reflect; Prominent Leadership – Select; Board Relations – Connect; Organizational Performance – Direct and Protect; and Board Management Interaction – Expect.


Boards though have to be true to who they are. They are there to hold the CEO accountable for the results that the organization pursues. Jim Brown uses another graph to show how this all flows:

If we understand our role as a board, we will be able to complete the requirements that God gives us. We have to represent the owners well, we must give authority and accountability to the CEO so that the she can in turn hold the staff accountable to serve the customers well.

I had a board one time that was dysfunctional. No one really understood what our roles were. Someone was able to come in and show us that we had the wrong people in the wrong roles. Then he taught us the importance of governance – the importance of leadership in the board and the importance of why we do what we do as a board.

Once I understood this better, and once our board understood it better we made the necessary adjustments so that today our board is flourishing, calling the CEO to accountability, and keeping us all on track. One of the greatest adjustments we made was having people on the board who believed in what we were all about. People who had a passion for the vision of the organization but who loved the CEO so that their directives were understood in the context of love and friendship. This transformed the board and the organization as a whole.

For more information on this subject – Go to STRIVE

Rich was born in Ecuador to missionary parents (Milton and Patricia Brown). He graduated from the Alliance Academy, where he met his wife Elisa Shannon (daughter of missionaries from Argentina, Jack and Jean Shannon). Both graduated from Toccoa Falls College. Rich graduated with a degree in Missiology. Rich and Elisa were married in 1990, and less than a year later, moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Rich served as youth pastor at North Ridge Church for almost four years. During that time, he finished the ordination process with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and graduated with a Masters Degree from Wheaton Graduate School in Biblical and Theological Studies. In 1995, Rich and Elisa moved to Peru, where they served for ten years as youth pastor missionaries in four different churches in Lima and Trujillo. Rich also taught in the Bible Seminary in Lima and Trujillo. He was the Executive director of the Seminary in Trujillo for one year. He taught World Views, Evangelism, The Book of Hebrews, and Missions, among other courses. In 2005, Rich and Elisa became regional youth missionaries in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. In 2006, they started Inca Link and that organization is now serving in four countries (Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and the United States). Rich´s calling is to reach the 300 million youth in Latin America with Christ´s irresistible love. Rich and Elisa have four children who have been intimately involved in the Browns’ ministry: Olivia, Michaela, Josiah & Alexa.

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Organizational Development Tagged with: , ,


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