Consent Agenda

I previously suggested that boards often fill their meetings with agenda items which take the organization nowhere. Although frustrated with motion after tedious motion, many board members don’t know how they could reduce the time taken by these legally required or traditional board meeting issues.

The government acts or regulations within which board-led organizations are created often stipulate items which must be approved by the board. This list can include several routine items which staff have screened but still require board confirmation. No board discussion has happened on these items in the past few years. A motion is duly moved and seconded and unanimously approved over and over. Other organizations are in the habit of putting certain items on their agenda and are concerned that the board would be negligent if they removed such items. Handling all these motions takes time and the scheduled hour of adjournment arrives before the board members have had a chance to discuss any new initiatives or address any of the organization’s significant challenges.

With a consent agenda the myriad of necessary board approvals can be handled in one motion, leaving the majority of the meeting time to discuss issues which will benefit from the insights and wisdom of the organization’s leaders. A consent agenda is one in which all the items that may not require any discussion are listed as subpoints to one agenda item. This consent agenda list might include:


Board Meeting Apathy

In recent months I have observed a variety of board meetings and I walked away from most of them wondering why groups of people with a passion for the organization spend so much time accomplishing so little. Human resources are a precious commodity yet we can be guilty of treating them carelessly. During many of these board meetings there was reference to the need for environmental stewardship but little attention to utilizing the knowledge and wisdom of people who have been chosen to lead the organization.

Yes, board members, as a group, are supposed to lead the organization. It is the board as a whole who is liable if the organization acts illegally or unethically. It is the board who hires the senior staff person who in turn is in charge of operations. The concept of boards of directors or trustees was started so that the highest level decisions in an organization would be made by a group, not by an individual. This is an extension of the maxim “two heads are better than one”. (more…)

FREE Teleseminar on “Church Governance”

Join Cathie Leimbach, Governance Expert and Consultant, along with T.J. Addington, a Senior VP, Evangelical Free Church of America and Author of “High Impact Church Boards.” Learn from the experience of hundreds of churches the three biggest leadership issues facing church boards: healthy leaders, intentional leaders, and empowered leaders.

This teleseminar will be moderated by Pastor Arnie Fleagle of Trinity Evangelical Free Church.

Register at this site and feel free to ask a question to Cathie and T.J. on Church Governance.


Teleseminar: “Church Governance” Thursday, June 5, 7 pm, Eastern

Teleseminar: “Church Governance” Wednesday, June 11, 8 pm, Eastern

You can listen from the WEB free or by phone (long distance phone charges apply)

Leading a Results-Oriented Team

Behind every great team there is an exceptional leader. Leaders set the tone for their followers. Leaders establish, communicate, and implement practices that focus all team members on agreed-upon outcomes. Such effective leadership guides a team to achieve outstanding results.

The leader’s attitude and behavior are both key to achieving positive results. Leaders who value the input of all team members and encourage them to focus on results will regularly experience success. Focusing on results requires holding people accountable. Let’s explore three key practices of leaders who hold their team members accountable — stating expected results, monitoring actual results, and responding appropriately to results.


Accountability is often considered the key to goal achievement. “What gets measured gets done.” “What gets rewarded gets repeated.”

Accountability is a tool for achieving effective group results. Many of us have experienced frustration in team projects when our efforts weren’t appreciated or others failed to complete important elements of the job. When team members operate with different agendas, group success is greatly hampered. Three important elements of accountability are knowing where we are headed, reviewing progress along the way, and making adjustments to get back on track whenever we veer off the path.