Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, once said,
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”
As the new president and chair of the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Board of Directors, I’m ready to make history!
Throughout my career, and especially as an entrepreneur, giving back and community service have always been at the core of what I do. No matter where we’re at in our leadership or life journey, all of us have the capacity to give back and pay it forward.
Over the last several years, one of the ways I have chosen to give back is with the Girl Scouts. After all, helping to develop women leaders has long been a passion of mine. Remember, I’m the oldest of five daughters. I enjoy my work with the Girl Scouts because it provides a unique opportunity for me to help develop girls into the leaders of tomorrow.
I’m very much looking forward to my new role. This amazing council serves over 18,000 girls every year, in 30 counties. We’re building GIRLs: the Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk Takers, and Leaders… of today and tomorrow. There’s so much more to come. We’re Dreaming Big!
Bonus: Board Development Tips
In a prior role with the Girl Scouts, I spearheaded the board development committee. I’d like to share six board development lessons I learned along the way as we built this world-class board– a team I’m proud to lead today. When I stepped into the board development role, I had a vision that was created around four pillars: the candidate slate, board performance, board skill development, and the on-boarding experience.
If you are developing a board, I encourage you to consider these tips (originally shared on my blog in 2017).
- Think big picture. Create a vision for what your board should be. It’s more than finding an arbitrary slate of candidates. The candidates must be in alignment with the mission of the organization, and their skills must forward the strategic priorities of the board.
- Communicate metrics. Most boards require their members to maintain a certain level of performance and achieve specific compliance metrics, such as are you meeting financial contributions, attending meetings and other functions. Others are tied to strategic priorities, such as contributing your time and talent by performing a service like facilitating introductions. Make sure your candidates are “on board” with these requirements before they take their place on the board.
- Provide skill development. To have a world-class board, you must help your members stretch and grow. At the Girl Scouts, we hold regular board development session on topics that may range from philanthropy to leadership.
- Plan for the future. Look at your leadership pipeline and continually ensure there are members who are ready to step into the roles.
- Stay small. When you’re considering your board development committee, a smaller team can be more nimble, as well as more strategic.
- Create opportunities for others. After I developed the pillars, other committee chairs stepped up to be leaders for each of the pillars. That helped spread the work, and also allowed them to be creative in their areas of expertise.
Have you ever been involved with board development? What tips can you share?