A few weeks back I wrote Some Thoughts on How To Prepare to Serve on the PASS Board of Directors. The responses I heard, especially during the Summit last week, had two themes:
- Recommending that much preparation will deter many candidates from running/is the bar for serving really that high?
- What is the value in serving on the Board?
- Encouraging you to run without advocating preparation is just not fair. I want you to have a positive experience from start to finish. Preparation doesn’t guarantee that, but I think it’s a good start. [This is the same view I have with regards to growing new speakers]
- It’s what the job requires. Board members oversee a organization with a multi-million dollar budget, one that is governed by part time volunteers and managed by a full time staff, that is dependent on a single source of revenue, and that tries to balance for-profit and not-for-profit goals. It’s a long way from managing servers or even a team of data professionals
- Pay it Forward. The best of reasons. You’ve gained in one way or another from the efforts of so many within PASS. Note that I don’t suggest you owe a debt – the contributions that helped you were a gift. Even if you’re content with where PASS is as an org it still needs someone at the wheel.
- Change Things. Maybe PASS isn’t as good as you think it should be, or that it could do more, or that it could better serve some segment of the members. Or…whatever. If you see something that needs attention, how better to get it done?
- Build New Skills. Regardless of how much you prepare you’re going to learn a lot about getting things done. It’s far harder than just having a good idea! I promise you that these skills will benefit you far beyond your time on the Board.
- Power Up Your Resume. Serving on a Board is a big deal. It shows involvement, leadership, interest beyond just the next big technical feature.
- Networking. The most concrete item I can offer, you’ll definitely meet a lot of people.