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How Many Hats Do Your Board Members Wear?

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Somewhere, in an organization quite like yours, a staff member is in the countdown for the annual fundraiser... With the countdown underway, the lead staff member is juggling a thousand balls: confirming logistics for the entertainment; finalizing attendance figures with the caterer; being available to answer all kinds of last-minute questions…

There is one additional relationship that this staff member is juggling, along with the other 999 balls: the relationship with the event co-leader. This co-leader, a volunteer for the organization, is a person of tremendous dedication and passion for the organization and its mission. What complicates the relationship and adds to the juggling challenge is that this co-leader is also a board member.

The staff event leader is juggling this relationship because this year’s co-leader at times expects her suggestions and opinions on the event to be the final word... It’s hard to predict which it will be on a given day. Will the “co-leader” show up? Or will the “board member” show up? It has certainly made the event planning a lot more complicated than the staff member had expected.

Does any of this strike a familiar chord with events in your organization? If so, you’re hardly alone. Confusion and conflict over authority and roles are common occurrences in organizations that involve volunteers.