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Best Board Books: Index to 18 Good Governance Stimulators

By John Pearson

Moving on! We’ve squeezed way too many blogs out of this “Best Board Books” series—and it’s time to move on. But first—don’t try to read all 18 books, start with just one. (See the list below.)

Last week, a board chair emailed me that he’s following the “10 Minutes for Governance” practice suggested in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom (see Lesson 39). Using a governance book that fits their board’s culture and season, each board meeting will feature a 10-minute segment to inspire board members in God-honoring governance. He’s already assigned board members to lead the next four segments.

“Great Boards Delegate Their Reading” is the title of Lesson 38 in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom. It’s true! So…select one book, appoint an avid reader as your “Leaders Are Readers Champion” and watch boardroom engagement soar.

PICK ONE:

[ ] Book #1: Boards That Lead: When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way, by Ram Charan, Dennis Carey and Michael Useem

[ ] Book #2: The Imperfect Board Member: Discovering the Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence, by Jim Brown

[ ] Book #3: Best Practices for Effective Boards, by E. LeBron Fairbanks, Dwight M. Gunter II, and James R. Cauchenour

[ ] Book #4: Stewards of a Sacred Trust: CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-centered Organizations, by David L. McKenna

[ ] Book #5: Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask, by Ram Charan

[ ] Book #6: Serving as a Board Member: Practical Guidance for Directors of Christian Ministries, by John Pellowe

[ ] Book #7: The Nonprofit Board Answer Book: A Practical Guide for Board Members and Chief Executives (3rd Edition), published by BoardSource

[ ] Book #8: The Practitioner's Guide to Governance as Leadership: Building High-Performing Nonprofit Boards, by Cathy A. Trower

[ ] Book #9: Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board, by Max De Pree (Check out the 30-blog series here.)

[ ] Book #10: Good Governance for Nonprofits: Developing Principles and Policies for an Effective Board, by Fredric L. Laughlin and Robert C. Andringa

[  ] Book #11Boards That Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations, by John Carver

[ ] Book #12: Call of the Chair: Leading the Board of the Christ-centered Ministry, by David L. McKenna

[ ] Book #13: Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka and Steve Zimmerman

[ ] Book #14: Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t – Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0, by Verne Harnish

[ ] Book #15: Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: 40 Insights for Better Board Meetings, (Second Edition), by Dan Busby and John Pearson

[ ] Book #16: The Council: A Biblical Perspective on Board Governance, by Gary G. Hoag, Wesley K. Willmer, and Gregory J. Henson

[ ] Book #17: Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson

[ ] Book #18: Humility, by Andrew Murray

BOARD DISCUSSION: Toss this C.S. Lewis zinger to your board—and discern if your ministry is on the right road. In The Council (Book #16), the authors quote Lewis’ insight from Mere Christianity:

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

MORE RESOURCES: Kent Stroman, guest blogger for Lesson 38 in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, notes this from the U.S. Navy Seals, “Under pressure, you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That's why we train so hard.” Check out the “40 Blogs. 40 Wednesdays.” color commentaries on Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson, including Lesson 38, “Great Boards Delegate Their Reading.”

 

This article was originally posted on the “Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations” blog, hosted by ECFA.
John Pearson, a board governance consultant and author, was ECFA’s governance blogger from 2011 to 2020.
© 2021, ECFA and John Pearson. All rights reserved.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.

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