PASS Update #59 (Run for the Board)

If it hasn’t happened already we should be close to beginning the election cycle for the 2012 election. Last year we had rough election and we’ve made some changes since then. In particular because we had a rough election last year we need a good pool of candidates this year. We need people that care, that want PASS to be better than it is today – so who are those people, where do we find them?

I know we have them. They run chapters, SQLSaturday, the write blogs, they speak, they comment on things. Not everyone is ready, not everyone thinks they are ready, not everyone has thought about giving it a try.

It’s our job to encourage candidates to run. Last last month I emailed about 10 people that I’ve known for a while to encourage them to run. I’m going through my LinkedIn list again this week to look for more. Some are longshots, I know they have stuff going on right now that makes it hard. Some have some history with PASS, wounds that haven’t entirely mended. Some may not be quite ready. That’s all ok. What I did was encourage people I think well of to run, to get in the game.

The downside of writing this is that I didn’t email everyone I knew,and that perhaps implies I think less of them. It doesn’t. There are some people that I’ve talked to and I know it’s just not an option, some that I don’t think are ready, and probably a bunch that are ready that just didn’t pop out when I did the first list. That’s ok too. I’m not picking the slate, I’m just encouraging people to run.

Are you ready? I’ll tell you the some of the things I look for:

  • Passion for PASS, SQL, and the SQL community. Someone who cares about doing good things, not what being on the Board will do for them
  • Time. It’s going to soak up time like you won’t believe. You’re going to miss work to go to in person board meetings, you’ll do calls after hours, and you’ll spend some time on weekends too. If you don’t plan to do that – don’t run. The first test I apply; show me where you’ll put that time on your calendar.
  • Voice. If you aren’t visible and willing to speak about your projects and PASS, you’re not ready.
  • Strong. We try to be a friendly group, but we have some intense discussions. You need to be strong enough to fight for things you believe in, strong enough to lose gracefully

It’s easy to underestimate the power of getting an email from someone that encourages you to try something new, to take the next step. It’s a big leap from anywhere to the PASS Board, and the tendency is to think that you need to be ‘nominated’. Think of it as just submitting an application for something you really want to do.

What I hope you’ll all do is think about who you know, who you read, who you respect, and send them a quick email encouraging them to run. Let them know you think well of them and that you believe they would do a good job. That’s it. Write up a quick email, bcc it to the top 3 or 5 or 10 people you can think of that would do a good job. Think hard on that selection. In the end, as is should be, it’s all about character.

For those of you considering running, whether you win or not, whether you get on the slate or not, it’s an experience worth having. Not sure, or just have questions? Email me, or any current or past board member (and I’d recommend asking more than one) to have a discussion.