PASS Elections 2013

Yesterday the slate of candidates for the PASS Board of Directors was announced. Seven candidates for three open positions this year and that’s good. Good that we have a choice of who will lead and good that we have seven people willing to step up and give more of their time for a good cause.

Now on to the work of deciding which three to pick.

I’m looking for the candidates that I think have the right mix of skills and experience and maturity to lead, have a vision that is both reaching and realistic, and have paid their dues. I’m looking for the ones that can survive and maybe even flourish in the complex environment of the PASS Board.

I start with the rankings of the candidates from the NomCom. It’s rare that I’ll pick the top three in the order they were ranked, but I value – a lot – the effort the NomCom put into doing the assessment that lead to the rankings. Then I read the applications, looking for relevant PASS experience and relevant life experience,. I pay a lot of attention to the letters of recommendations and other endorsements. I study their platform to see if I think the things that want to do are doable and worth doing. I look at their blogs, because I want leaders that can communicate and are used to communicating – have they blogged for a while, do they write well? I read the answers they post in the election forums to see who can take the heat of real public interaction (and yes, I posted a couple of my own questions). I watch to see how they campaign because campaigning is hard and because I want to get a sense of how they see themselves and how they want us to see them.

Does knowing some of the candidates matter? Of course. Knowing someone, even a little, or interacting with them online is a valuable piece of information, one that always gets factored in – it’s a piece of the puzzle, not the entire answer.

This year I have a bit of a head start because I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of the candidates and that candidate will be one of my final picks – more on the why of that in a post tomorrow. That means I still have a lot of reading and thinking to do to finalize my other two choices.