I love the desert, not just because that is where spring training of my beloved losers-The Chicago Cubs- practice but because of its unique vegetation. Cacti come in many different styles. Some say there are over 2,000 species of these complex living creations. One favorite of mine is the Prickly Pear.
They have beautiful flowers in the spring and many food products are made from them. So, they have great value…as long as you know how to handle them. Reminds me of some directors I once served with on a couple of nonprofit boards. They had great ideas, brought historical perspective, kept us true to our original mission, and kept us from making too many changes too fast. But, they could be difficult to handle and please. As someone who continually struggles with lack of patience and a strong desire to be in control, I occasionally left our board meetings with heartburn!
Anyway, I started thinking about how much value those difficult directors actually delivered to us. While I did not always agree with their approach or wording, they made us a better nonprofit agency. If I ever get the chance to lead a nonprofit board again, I hope to be able to recruit a couple of prickly pears…or, a prickly pair…onto the board to serve with us.
How about you? Do you have a prickly pair on your board? Don’t you think it’s time to add some spice and additional value to your board by recruiting candidates who can help you, and not just because they are nice people?
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