Characteristics of Effective Board Members


  • Approaches responsibilities in the spirit of a director on behalf of the members and the industry at large.
  • Maintains loyalty to the organization with a higher loyalty to the members.
  • Welcomes information and best available advice, but reserves the right to arrive at decisions based on own judgement.
  • Honors commitments.
  • Supports board decisions (internally and externally) even when he or she may disagree with the majority opinion. Promotes unity within the organization.
  • Offer opinions honestly and in a constructive way.
  • Respects the opinions of others.
  • Avoids any possibility of conflict of interest.
  • Understands legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Gives respect and consideration to other board members and President. Listens as an ally. Focuses on issues, not personalities.
  • Offers constructive feedback.
  • Asks informed questions.
  • Clearly understands her/his responsibilities.
  • Willing to actively serve on at least one committee.
  • Comes to meetings on time, well prepared and actively participates.


  • Understands and is committed to the organization's mission.
  • Speaks with one voice when representing the organization.
  • Acts as an advocate for the organization and its members.


  • Has expertise in areas necessary to assist the board and the organization.
  • Contributes knowledge.


  • Willing to give time.
  • Recognizes that her/his time and energy are limited, and takes care not to make any commitment that cannot be fulfilled.