Board, Starting a Nonprofit

Work and Play

In the last class I taught, one of my students asked me:


How do you balance the friendship/professional relationship if the majority of your Board members are people you befriended before asking them to be on your Board?




Michael Scott understands your plight.


This is a tricky question with (hopefully) a simple answer.


I had a similar situation when I was Founder and Executive Director of my own organization because I initially asked my friends to sit on the Board of Directors. As a friend, they wanted to support the organization and me. One of the ways I balanced out our dual roles (professional/personal) is that I tried not to bring up Board stuff when I was meeting with my Friend/Board member on a social outing. Those discussions I saved for the Board meeting or professional emails or phone calls. I wanted to make sure that I would not compromise the friendship or have my friend start ignoring my personal communication because they were worried I’d bring up an organizational or Board issues every time we talked.


How do you keep your personal and professional lives separate? Or do you?

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