I recently completed service terms on two boards. On the first board, a University department, I was an inaugural board member who had served long past my term-limits. My second board position was for a social investor and international financial cooperative where I served two consecutive 3-year terms.
Each board experience broadened my perspective, provided me with opportunities to meet interesting people from other countries and expand my professional and leadership skills. Of course, I also cared about the organizations and their respective missions.
Culture of Care
While the University department is primarily concerned with preparing students for tomorrows STEM careers, the social investor is investing in people and organizations working in agricultural, renewable energy, and a plethora of social enterprises across 70 countries. In working with them, I gained a better understanding of how the world’s poorest people are most affected by climate change and extreme weather events. Both organizations are deeply empathetic and represent a #CultureOfCare, a concept I’d like to see expanded and normalized across the general population.
Perhaps There is Board Service in Your Future
If you lean forward a little and take initiative most people are happy to let you lead. If you haven’t served as a volunteer board member you might consider it. There are plenty of organizations who would benefit from more heads, hearts, and hands at the table. But, the organization isn’t the only one to benefit. Your service to others will forever change you, for good.