By Marcela Garcia, Assoc. Director of Governance & Board Leadership
It’s a new year—and with this comes realigning the energy we have to invest in ourselves and others. This includes our New Year resolutions to go back to the gym, spend more quality time with our loved ones, as well as to be more intentional with the use of our “free” time. As individuals who value service and community, it is of the utmost importance that we invest some time in service that is meaningful and rewarding. But let’s keep it real—this can be a challenge. Especially if you are new to board service, you might not know what to expect or how you will be connected. And even if you are seasoned, becoming jaded with the challenges of board service does happen.
So, as I put together on-boarding guides and manuals, and talk to Partner School board members, Board Corps members, and those contemplating board service, I reflect on the lessons that I have learned as we launch the third year of the Board Corps program.
Board Corps members who have already served at least a year were asked to share advice with other program participants during a pinning ceremony that we hosted to celebrate the milestone of having placed more than 50 Board Corps members on our Partner School boards. The advice they shared was very practical and can be categorized into three important areas.
Don’t stop learning
- Make the time to attend the ongoing education opportunities – PAVE’s training are first class and will benefit both you and the school.
- Be prepared to listen and learn, but don’t be afraid to participate. You have a lot to offer so don’t hold back.
- Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk.
Find ways to connect your intellect and heart to the mission of the school
- Patience and empathy will go a long way when working through conflicting ideas.
- Make sure you believe in the culture and mission of the school. Visit during the school day, get to know the teachers and students.
- Go into the process with an open mind and open heart.
- It takes time; schools can’t be turned around overnight.
- Be open to taking on new and different challenges that take you outside your comfort zone and allow you to grow!
- You’ll always get more out of it then you put in.
As we get re-energized, and find ways to make our work significant, it is important that we connect our intellect and heart to the work we do. How are you making this happen in 2015?