The Seven Pillars of governance are based on a lot of life experience, emerging trends, and best practices. Simply put, I’m committed to helping people serve on boards well and effectively. Finding ways that are simple, clear, and effective, without the heavy-handedness of over-theorizing or getting it perfect. I want to harness our instincts and intelligence and link them to a series of small steps, and link those steps together. Today’s Pillar (#4) is all about the team. A key step to high performance.

Good governance isn’t a solo activity, it’s a team sport. No matter what constraints or challenges exist, start where you are. Whether you’re an ED, Board Chair, or member at large, building the team is your opportunity to shape the board into a high-performing group of people who share a common desire to make a better, brighter future for your organization.

The first step? Toss out the “a cook, a baker, and a candle-stick maker.” You don’t need anyone to fill a slot. Instead, you need passionate, skilled people who can help you strategize and network; individuals who are dedicated and committed to your mission and vision. Start with your current group. Who’s on board and what valuable skills attributes and aspirations do they bring? You always want to balance what the organization needs with what people have to offer. It’s a dance. A second step is to ask your current members who they LOVE to work with. This is an easy way to start the recruitment ideas flowing. Add the third step by considering these four buckets, weighing each equally:

Finally, step four: consider all the other valuable forms of diversity that will be helpful and valuable. In this way, you begin naturally. Working from the center of your organization outward into the community, finding easy paths and connections to future board members eager and ready to serve. Ready to level up. Ready to become part of your soon-to-be high performing team!