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There are millions of people who serve on nonprofit boards each year. As trustees, they must not only lead their organizations to success but also act with knowledge, wisdom, and a deep regard for the common good. This unique book recognizes that trustee leadership must achieve far more than administrative and fiduciary success: instead, it offers a new vision of trustee leadership that embodies caring, effective governance.
Written for board members, nonprofit executives, and leadership consultants, Creating Caring and Capable Boards presents a new and proven model of board leadership—one that can be used to educate boards and staff in the philosophy of service. This leadership model can also serve as a framework for implementing strategies more effectively. Based on more than ten years of practical experience, this step-by-step process can help new and experienced trustees to refine their understanding of the organizational mission while improving their ability to lead cohesively. Author Katherine Tyler Scott also explores the historical context of board service, explains the duties of board trustees, and offers straightforward exercises for real-world application.
For years, this approach was only available in workshops conducted by Trustee Leadership Development, Inc. Now boards and nonprofit teams can refer to a single, reliable source for thoughtful advice and the latest insights on trustee leadership. Much more than a guide, this groundbreaking book invites boards to renew their commitment to improving the social sector through caring and competent leadership.
"This book captures exquisitely the heart, mind, and spirit of leadership. With powerful insight and grace, Katherine Tyler Scott renews the fabric of American life in our communities; she shows us how we can recover that which is most precious and vulnerable in our society—trust. Creating Caring and Capable Boards will inspire anyone seeking to create meaning and value through leadership. It's a must read!"—Ronald A. Heifetz, director, Leadership Education Project, Harvard University
"This is not an ordinary book on board development. Katherine Tyler Scott focuses her work on concepts of 'trust' in trusteeship, exploring the meaning of both 'being held in trust' and 'holding in trust.' This book will aid organizations in probing beneath the surface of board work to build leadership based on the convergence of personal and organizational values."—Eugene R. Tempel, executive director, Indiana University Center on Philanthropy
"Katherine Tyler Scott has given us a valuable, practical book filled with wisdom that demonstrates how the vision, depth education, and foresight of the board as well as its commitment to the organization's mission are critical to success. This is a comprehensive book that should be read by anyone seriously considering service on any board!"—Larraine Matusak, senior leadership scholar, Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, and president, LarCon Associates
"At the heart of Katherine Tyler Scott's work with boards of trustees is a simple but compelling principle: 'trustees' must be people who are able to 'hold in trust' the organizations they serve&mdash'if they wish to serve them well. During a decade of distinguished work with organizations of many sorts, Tyler Scott and her colleagues have shown time and again how that principle can save us from the misuse, and abuse, of trustee power—and bring institutions into a deeper alignment with their highest purposes. This book will help extend the power of authentic trusteeship to the many institutions that need to grow toward fuller forms of service to the society."—Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation and The Courage to Teach
The ability to hold someone or something in trust, to give to someone else or to give something of who we are and what we have, comes from our own experiences of being held in trust. Over time these experiences influence the development of certain beliefs and perceptions about our value and worth and the value and worth of others. The first is a belief that we are in relationship with and to others and that the stranger is a part of who we are and is a part of our world. This belief helps us to remember our common humanity and to perceive our differences as aspects of a whole rather than as disparate elements threatening our identity. When we see ourselves as being in relationship with and to one another, we can begin to embrace differences and be more creative in our efforts to connect and communicate with those who appear to be unlike us or who perceive things differently. and nurtured and obligated him to ensure the development of others who will share the capacity to hold in trust. of individualism and the common good; perhaps more important, we are able to integrate rather than separate them. We can then better achieve a balance between them in our lives, our leadership, and our service to others.
A way to begin to identify and claim these capacities is through identifying the associations we have to the phrase Òto hold in trust.Ó When I have asked individual leaders and those with governance responsibilities to do this, their initial responses are halting but soon turn into a tumble of words, phrases, and images: Òmentor ... parent ... supplicant hands ... fiduciary ... nurture ... protect ... commitment ... balance ... holding a candle ... cradling a baby ... holding a baby bird ... believing ... responsible for the future ... accountable ... stewardship ... integrity ... security ... for the future ... continuity ... caring ... parenting ... involved ... patience ... authentic ... dependable ... courage ... love ... respect ... confidence ... knowledgeable ... compassionate ... challenged to do the best ... seeing the unrealized potential in me.Ó These words and phrases are doorways to personal stories that collectively provide a verbal portrait and a terrain of trust from which individual character is formed. Participants are asked to recall a time when they were held in trust and to answer several questions: Who held you in trust? What did they do? How were you affected by what they did? By who they were? What were the qualities and characteristics of those who held you in trust? After some time for individual reflection, participants gather in small groups to share the answers to these questions. Later in whole group discussion, I typically ask if they now have other associations to Òhold in trust,Ó and what appeared to be a comprehensive list expands to include new words, phrases, and associations that convey the more deeply personal an relational aspects of having been held in trust.
Recalling times of being held in trust can be an emotionally powerful experience; we are reminded of a time when someone accepted, understood, and cared enough about us to invest of themselves, their time, and other resources and enabled us to reach new levels in our personal and professional lives. The remembrance of these relationships brings forth a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for the gift received, and the gratitude brings with it the sense of obligation to give back to others. It calls forth a sense of duty that is absent of debilitating Òshoulds and ought to'sÓ that originate from a sense of scarcity. To live as though we are truly connected to and in relationship with strangers creates a very different sense of responsibility and community. From this connection we learn that accountability brings freedom and that loss and sacrifice bring renewal and growth.