Wednesday, May 27, 2020

LESSON 21 – Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction

Welcome to More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Dan Bolin is our guest blogger this week for the second of four lessons in "Part 6: Boardroom Time-Wasters, Troublemakers, and Truth-tellers.” And during this COVID-19 crisis, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.

LESSON 21 OF 40: Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction
Beware of the ER Factor in the boardroom—ego and rivalry.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Serving on a Christian nonprofit board is not about us, it is about stewarding God’s work the best we can. In Lesson 21, the authors warn of divisions and diminished value that accompany self-centered and self-serving board participation. The main point the authors make is that unhealthy comparison and competition within a board reduces its governance effectiveness and decreases the organization’s ability to serve God well. As the saying goes, one bad apple spoils the whole barrel, and one self-focused, comparison-driven member can diminish the effectiveness of the entire board. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 21, pages 116-119:
Some of the nuggets that the authors provided were:
• Board members will either create value or extract value.
• Ego and rivalry often lead board members to elevate self over others. This creates a competitive atmosphere in the boardroom.
• Demonstrating a heart for we versus me inspires other board members to do the same. 

Paul told Timothy that if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1). The word “desires” is a complicated word. Sometimes it is translated in more noble contexts—but mainly it is used to express lust, covetousness, or evil desires. 

Board members must always ask themselves the question of motivation—am I doing this to serve God and others, or to benefit myself? Board members who strive to promote themselves, ensure that they are the center of attention, and winners of every debate—have lost their personal battle with ego and rivalry. The carnage they create in the process spills over into the life of the board and diminishes the effectiveness of the ministry.  


DAN BOLIN is the president of Refueling in Flight Ministries. He has led ministries for over 35 years and served for 11 years as the international director or Christian Camping International. Dan also served nine years as president of KVNE/KGLY Radio, and for 14 years he was the executive director of Pine Cove Christian Camps. Dan writes, speaks, teaches, hosts CEO Dialogues, and leads men’s fly-fishing adventures. His weekly devotional and more information about Dan’s ministry are available at Refueling in Flight Ministries.

• Ask yourself—in my role as a board member, am I serving myself or God and others?
• Ask yourself—what can I do to add value to the board by encouraging other members and supporting quality ideas proposed by others?
• Pray for each board colleague—asking God to give you a love for them and an appreciation for the contributions they make.  
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 21, “Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction.”

June 3, 2020, watch for the commentary by Kecia Klob on Lesson 22, “Whopper Mistakes Can Unravel Your Ministry. If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”

BULK ORDERS: Click here. For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

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