We have covered two personality types that CEOs need to be ready for as they plan and execute comprehensive capital campaigns. If you missed the first two you can read the entire series here.
The Fun-Loving Fanatics—Let’s Have a Party!
Fun-Loving Fanatics are the high-energy board members who love your organization. They also love people and the opportunities that board service provides in creating social experiences. Fun-Loving Fanatics are typically the center of attention and eager to turn any project or discussion into a playful experience. Unfortunately, these board members deplore structure and routine. While they’re the most recognizable and sociable of all board members, they also tend to live in the here and now. This means they often spread themselves too thin and are seldom where they need to be, when they need to be there.
Why It Matters
Successful campaign implementation is both art and science. The “ask” and subsequent celebration of a gift commitment requires much planning, cultivation, data analysis, and strategy beforehand. Such efforts need a sustained, methodical focus for which fun-loving types have little patience. If left unmanaged, important strategy meetings could easily be diverted (by the Fun-Loving Fanatics) toward unproductive “menu and venue” discussions about campaign parties. These board members certainly have a role to play in the campaign structure. However, it would be good for their peers to keep in mind that identifying short-term, experiential social activities play to the Fun-Loving Fanatics’ strengths.
Today’s successful campaigns require a comprehensive approach, collective commitment of the board leadership, and an organizational capacity to best harness the unique talents of all campaign volunteers. The three personality types discussed here represent those behaviors that are most often identified among board members as being potential barriers to effective campaigning. Consider your own organization’s board and how you might best leverage the stability of your Trusted Traditionalists, the ambition of your Bullish Bushwhackers, and the enthusiasm of your Fun-Loving Fanatics.
Today, CEOs must understand how to better involve their boards as they plan and begin comprehensive capital campaigns. We covered the first board personality type to understand in this post.
The Bullish Bushwhacker—Stop Planning and Just Do It Already!
Full of energy and optimism, Bullish Bushwhackers are independent, fearless risk-takers. They are action-oriented, just-do-it types who have little time for consensus building, process, or rules. As a result, they often get ahead of process and strategy. Even though peer board members will admire the energy and initiative of these go-getters, both the board and staff alike will be challenged by the Bullish Bushwhackers’ fire-ready-aim approach. These impatient board members are the most likely to exhibit rash emotional outbursts when irritated by what they perceive to be slow or indecisive behavior. In addition, comments from a Trusted Traditionalist, such as “We’ve never done this before,” will encourage a Bullish Bushwhacker to break the rules simply for the thrill of it.
Why It Matters
Leadership of any campaign begins with the board. The entire board must share the same organizational vision, case for support, campaign strategy and timing, and commitment to support the effort philanthropically. Managing those members who want to ignore the important engagement and ownership-building activities, such as case development and donor cultivation, will help ensure sound execution of the plan, greater donor involvement, and increased philanthropic investments.
Check in later this week as we wrap up our final board personality type. Looking for more resources now? Download our recent whitepaper on the new realities of comprehensive capital campaigns.