No one goes out of their way to recruit a difficult board member, but sometimes you end up with one.
At one point in her career, Mona Buckley, CAE, now president and CEO at the Government Employees’ Benefit Association, had a board member who wanted to become president-elect. The problem: He wanted to circumvent the process. The organization had a slated nomination process where the nominating committee solicited recommendations from the entire board and then determined the best candidate.
It turned out that the candidate who wanted the president-elect position wasn’t slated. He started calling other board members to complain that the process wasn’t fair, and he wanted them to contest it. He also asked if he could count on them for their vote.
“It was completely upending the process and making people very uncomfortable,” Buckley said.
In a situation like this or others where you’re dealing with bad board behavior, having clear policies and processes in place—including board member job descriptions—and keeping behavioral analysis objective will prove most successful.