Should You Run For the PASS Board? How Do You Decide?

Here are some of the questions I ask when someone is thinking about running for the Board:

  1. Are you eligible? Read the application. Do you have meet all the requirements? Can you get credible letters of recommendation to support the application?Willing to put in the 2+ hours to fill it out?
  2. Do you have the time? Figure 2+ hours a week, plus 3 Board meetings that will be 3 days (or 4, depending on location/your travel time) three times a year. An entire week at the Summit. Some of that time will have to be during the day. Monthly Board calls, talking with HQ staff, etc. Will your employer support that? Will it be paid time or will you have to take vacation time?
  3. Can you afford it? Time often equals money. If you’re a consultant or will have to take vacation time to do Board work, can you afford to do it?
  4. Can you commit to traveling to all the meetings? If you’re outside the US this can be a big deal. Dialing in when everyone else is in the room just doesn’t work.
  5. Does your family understand the time commitment and support you?
  6. Why do you want to run? Giving back is a great sentiment, but what moves you to serve? What will you do to make PASS better?
  7. Do you have a reasonable sized network and presence in the community? Running shouldn’t be based on whether you think you can get elected, but if you don’t have a good network getting anything done is going to be hard.
  8. Do you blog and/or are you comfortable writing? You need a public place to share ideas and solicit feedback and to share your successes and failures. It’s also a big part of campaigning. If you don’t write you’re at a huge disadvantage.
  9. Are you far enough along in life to take criticism (fair or not) and to take unpopular stances, both with the members and with the Board when necessary? If you can’t handle conflict, you will struggle to succeed. Can you weather not being elected or getting a low score in the NomCom ranking?
  10. Have you solicited feedback from people that you know and that you trust? Have you talked to current and/or former Board members to find out what it’s really like?