Makers, we have been losing a lot of board members lately to resignations. It’s upsetting to me and I’m sure to you as well but the only thing we can do is put one foot in front of the other and try to replace them with great members who can stick with us.
We have decided to hold another election for the open at-large director spot. For other positions we appointed a runner-up from the June election, but we are running down the list into more and more people saying “no” and we want a fresh start.
- Patience, tenacity, and a pro-active attitude
- Willingness to accept the things we cannot change. We’ve had people quit because they hated the idea of a new building, people quit because we don’t have a new building, we need board members who can calmly listen to the membership, propose ideas, and not take it personally if their ideas get shot down or they get outvoted. It will happen.
- Enthusiasm for MakeICT’s mission. Remember that at the end of the day, we might feel like a million things are wrong, but can we still innovate, learn, and build community at the intersection of art, technology, science, and culture? Are the battles we pick contributing to that mission, or are we just running out into the weeds? Can you be positive about MakeICT even when members are criticizing you? Can you solve an issue without making into a mountain/skyscraper/pillar of who we are?
- Time to attend a 90 minute board meeting once a month and keep up with “homework” emails in between. Our goal is for the board meeting to be a place where we make decisions on policies that we’ve already seen, talked through with the admin list, and gotten to a vote-ready state. If it’s not ready, we send it back.
- Ability to support an idea even if it’s not yours. This seems to be a rare trait among technical people, hate to say it.
- Experience working in teams and a willingness to learn. I’d also love it if every board member was a professional grant writer, real estate agent, attorney, tax advisor who’s built spaceships in his/her garage, but the entire idea of MakeICT is that we can learn anything we set our minds to. That’s how we’ve built up a 400 member non-profit and that’s why we are going to keep growing this year.
- Self-knowledge to understand when you’re about to get burnt out so you can step back, ask yourself what’s really important, and prioritize accordingly. Volunteer work will take everything you give it. I cannot tell when someone is working too hard for MakeICT. For some people it’s an hour, for others it’s days. You have to be able to assess yourself, say no to the things that you can’t handle, let others help.
- Help your makerspace thrive. Do you like MakeICT? Well, we need leaders. With proper delegation it does not have to take up all your time. You do not have to live here. You can take a break when you need it.
- You will learn a lot and see great things happening in this place. You will know about everything.
- You will help us chart the future.
- You are making Wichita a better place to live.
But seriously, you can’t quit. This is your term. You are serving until June, and we’d prefer that you run for 2-3 years because getting a new board member up to speed is work.
And please members - be nice to your leaders Before you criticize, ask how you can help. I do not need thanks/praise/flowers/parade in my honor to keep this job going, I’m not here for that. But I do need to tell board members that their time is important and they do not have 400 bosses. If you need help on an issue please give us 24 hours and bug us kindly if your request fell off the map. If you want something changed, propose an idea, rather than sitting on a hill asking the board to spoon-feed you something you’ll accept. If an idea rubs you the wrong way, hear us out. We are at the same pay grade you are. Ask yourself if you’re making a leader’s job easier or harder.
One way to make it easier is to send in nominations.
We will vote electronically using approval voting after the September 16 quarterly meeting. We would like nominations to happen before September 9th and we would like all nominees to post a thread with answers to at least some of their favorite questions from http://makeict.org/wiki/2018_Elections_-_Questions - maybe pick 3-5, we don’t need a novel! We just want to know that you care enough about the job to post a thread about who you are and why you love MakeICT.