I get no respect from my charity’s board of directors



I took over a charitable not-for-profit organization in 2005, after my predecessor died, and have worked hard to make this agency a success. Until the board chair retired in 2012, everything went swimmingly. I have continuously improved our performance, and developed an amazing team. I was so successful that last year our funding supporter increased our annual financing by $50,000.

When I asked for a pay increase, I was denied. I pointed out that there would be a considerable amount of money remaining at year’s end, but they implied that I had manipulated the budget to have money remaining. This made me angry, as they had attacked my integrity. I apologized for my anger in an e-mail and offered to arrange a training session for the board.

The chair then planned a secret meeting to discuss me, and they are talking about monitoring my performance. I got a phone call from the chair, saying that if I was disrespectful at the next meeting, he would stop the meeting.

This board has no interest in improving the agency – this is a power play. The stress is making me ill, but I need my job. Do you have any suggestions?



Bill Howatt

Howatt HR Consulting, Kentville, N.S.

Personnel changes can influence a board’s chemistry. New members bring their own goals, vision, leadership and management styles.

The root cause of resulting conflict is often a lack of communication. The success of the relationship between the board and the executive director hinges on trust. To move forward, your conflict with the board must be resolved.

Ask the board to help you resolve what you perceive as a conflict. The board has a responsibility to facilitate a healthy and safe workplace.

Another option is to have a neutral third party to mediate and resolve the conflict – and to flesh out best practices for resolving future conflicts. A third party can also clarify roles and responsibilities, compensation and performance reviews, and review the code of conduct for directors.

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