Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Question Week: No good answers


"What if we find we have no good answers to the important questions we raise?"

This question, offered by A More Beautiful Question author Warren Berger, isn't governance-specific but it may represent one many of us fear the most: What if we simply don't have what it takes to provide the leadership and resources our nonprofits expect of us?

Most of our missions target big, challenging problems or wide, sweeping opportunities. Great missions are larger than ourselves. But because that is true, we board members can find ourselves in situations where the answers feel out of reach. Let's be honest: the big questions boards need to be asking don't come with easy-peasy answers.

Still, the gap between our aspirations for our community/organization and today's reality can feel pretty wide. It's a frustrating place to be, especially for action-oriented community leaders. It can weigh on board members minds, even if we don't talk about it.

Berger's question brings that unspoken weight off members' individual shoulders and onto the boardroom table. We need to bring it out into the open, acknowledge what many may be thinking but not saying, embrace the inherent challenge of our leadership responsibilities, and find ways to affirm and advance forward motion to which we have committed and will commit.

Other links in this series: 

Sunday - Question Week: 100-percent vision success
Monday - Question Week: Without resource constraints
Tuesday - Question Week: Accountable to whom?

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