Reflections on BLF14: Post #4 – Consensus-based Leadership

Gems from the 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Laura Boyer.


GOB in DC at the 2014 Board Leadership Forum last autumn (Laura is third from the right)

The Get on Board committee is made up of a handful of talented people who are passionate about our community.

I have experience with collective decision making, so I was excited to hear more about it from consultants who train people in the process. They demonstrated the benefits of their process visually by lining us up in different formations that represented different forms of hierarchies.

The traditional business model, where everyone reports to a superior, had the greatest potential for communication delays, errors and personal agendas getting in the way. Specialized small groups reporting to a main leader or group of leaders were the most efficient way of getting everyone’s input.

We heard from a board member who had trained in the model and rose to a high leadership post in his organization. Since everyone has a voice in the consensus-based model, it is easier for people to shine who aren’t obvious leaders. The model encourages facilitates leadership from “talented introverts.” That was an “Aha!” moment for me because I have seen it happen and achieved it myself.

Submitted by Laura Boyer

A special thanks to Laura Boyer for taking the time to share her experiences at Board Leadership Forum 2014 with our community of nonprofits.  You are much appreciated Laura!

Marilynn Fauth


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