Do it – go for it. Being on a board of trustees
is A. hugely fascinating B. really useful I think for your personal and professional
development. Being a trustee can be incredibly rewarding,
I find it incredibly rewarding. However the kind of people that I would like to see more
of on boards may also find it incredibly challenging. There can be certain perceptions of people
when they come onto boards, especially people who are closer to my age, there can be certain
biases that can be very frustrating to deal with. However the best way to combat that
is just to be there, be assertive and take up space. If people challenge you, then challenge
them back, because you will always have something valuable to say. Absolutely just be yourself. Make sure you
take advantage of all the opportunities afforded actually meet people on a base human level
not even within the board room, it makes it a lot easier to manage your business as you
go forward. SCVO do provide a lot of those opportunities – whether it’s with specifically
the board or staff, with events, with The Gathering with the charity awards, and beyond
in terms of some of the policy engagement areas as well. Make sure you give yourself a year. Don’t
expect too much too soon, give yourself a year to settle in because to start with you’ll
be like “what? I didn’t know they did that – this is unexpected” there will be lots of
things you’ll not know about the organisation that you’ll think you know some things from
the outside then you’ll come in and you’ll understand this is much bigger, more complicated
and interconnected with other things than I knew it to be. I would really encourage people to go for
it, it’s a really fantastic opportunity to give something back – and just use your experience
– from wherever you’ve come from, public, private, third sector, whatever – use that
experience to help the board of trustees that you hopefully might join.