I’ve been fortunate enough to have gained a wealth of experience with PASS over the last 9 years.  Serving in as many different roles as I have has allowed me to see the organization from most angles, good, bad, or otherwise.  While thinking of all those experiences, I can’t think of a more challenging one than when I first joined the board of directors in 2010.  When I was campaigning then I thought I had an idea of how the board worked, after all I had read all of the meeting minutes and I knew all of the Board members personally and I thought if they can do it, so could I!  The reality was something quite different for me personally.  From my experience, and conversations with others who’ve been through it, the consensus is that it takes the better part of a year to get totally up to speed on what is required of a director.

Learning the ropes-curve

When first joining the board there’s a learning curve and that curve is substantially steeper when a new director doesn’t come from a management or board/leadership background.  There are obvious things I had thought of and planned for including budgets, learning the HQ staff roles, meeting the CA/Microsoft board appointees and getting assigned a portfolio. Then there is everything else, like learning how to communicate effectively (and efficiently!) through email, learning the processes to do nearly anything, dealing with a budget that was already set, learning the history of why something is a certain way, understanding a board meeting flow, and probably most importantly learning how to get things done politically.  It turns out making decisions is actually incredibly easy on the board, the difficult part is getting everyone else to agree with that decision.

Experience matters

I have maintained the relationships I had with the members of the Board and PASSHQ  from my prior term on the board.  When you combine that with my PASSion and prior PASS Board experience, it gives me the ability to step back into that leadership role and continue to move the organization in the right direction