Top Books Every Association Board Member Should Be Reading (and How to Get Them to Read it)
You may think it is a lot to ask of your board members to read a book. They are volunteers, after all. They are busy. But chances are that you have some readers on your board, and chances are even better that almost all are into professional growth and development. I have personally incorporated reading a pre-selected book into strategic planning meetings. I have even gone as far as starting a “board book club.”
Ready to try with your board? Purchase the books using your association’s budget and mail them in advance of the meeting to the members of the board. Then, designate time on the next agenda to discuss the book. Why? It gets them thinking strategically. It gets them looking outside of what their association does. It shows them new ideas, concepts, trends, and best practices.
What book you select is up to you; you know what they need. Typically, books related to leadership, organizational success, or trends are good ones and fairly universal.
I’ve compiled a list to get you started.
Boards That Excel: Candid Insights and Practical Advice for Directors by B. Joseph White
Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers, CAE
Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers, CAE
7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t by ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership
Transformational Governance: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change by Beth Gazley and Katha Kissman
What Makes High-Performing Boards: Effective Governance Practices in Member Serving Organizations by Beth Gazley, Ph.D. and Ashley Bowers
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The Will to Govern Well: Knowledge, Trust and Nimbleness, 2nd Edition by Glenn H. Tecker, Paul D. Meyer, Bud Crouch, And Leigh Wintz, CAE
The End of Membership As We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century By Sarah Sladek
Now I can’t guarantee you that each and every board member will read the material and be prepared for the discussion. But I can assure you that enough will to have a strategic and productive discussion. I have found that even those that didn’t read the book engage in the conversation. Plus, there is now a good chance they will read the next book if you choose to assign another one because they don’t want to be “that guy” again.