How to Make Your Upcoming Board Meeting a Success

Besides the fact that my wife and business partner Tammy is a trustee of our alma mater, I can always tell when it’s board meeting season. Our clients hunker down a bit and you can often hear the tension in their voices. With good reason.

Board meetings can be tense. You’re preparing to put your best foot forward in front of those who govern your institution. And you generally don’t know the board well; you don’t work with them every day. You may share a mission, but it’s doubtful that you share a close working relationship or friendship (there are always exceptions). You may be colleagues, but you aren’t on the same level. Plus, awkward as it is, trustees may not know you or your profession or higher ed sufficiently to make the decisions and choices they are called upon to make. Trustees have the capacity and power to set agendas and create priorities that may—and often do—run counter to your plans and well-considered strategies.

So, when the trustees arrive for a board meeting, you may be anxious to ensure you are ready with the right information, the right attitude, and the right responses to their sometimes inane questions and comments.

But board meeting preparation doesn’t need to make you uptight. Before your next meeting with the board, you may want to keep these brief words of counsel in mind.

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Rick Bailey

Rick is the Principal and founding partner at RHB.