This year I was asked to serve on the Nominating Committee for the PASS Board of Directors election. I was one of two "community" representatives, i.e. nom com members who are not currently on the Board. I was honored to be asked because I felt it meant the leadership of PASS trusted my judgment. I took the job seriously, as did everyone else on the committee.
Running an organization of any kind is hard. Defining what type of leadership is needed is hard. And identifying who can provide that leadership is even harder. A big part of the nom com's job is essentially this last part: judge whether each applicant can be the leader PASS needs.
Our primary responsibility was to evaluate each applicant against a pre-defined set of criteria, most of which centered around a person's ability to serve in an executive capacity and effectively lead the organization. This criteria was published on the elections web site
in the form of ranking templates. Admittedly rating a person's "vision" or "fit" is subjective. That's why having a nom com (and Board) made up of people whose judgment you trust is important. And that's why the nom com had to be deliberate in its activities; we had to be confident in the recommendation we made to the Board.
Being deliberate means carefully reading the written applications. It means asking substantive questions in the interview and listening carefully to the answers. It means taking time to consider all the information you have before making your recommendation. It means having an open and frank discussion during the nom com meetings when evaluating each candidate. I can tell you sincerely that the 2010 nom com did all of these things. We did them because we all have the best interests of the organization at heart.
I can also tell you what we did not do. We did not put someone on, or leave someone off, the slate because we were trying to fulfill a minimum or maximum number of candidates. We did not make our decisions based on how people might react. We did not use our vote to make a statement, or quiet dissent or maintain the status quo. We did not make snap judgments. We did not make any decisions about any candidate until all the interviews were complete.
In the last couple of days I've read that we should be ashamed of ourselves, that we slapped the membership in the face, that we were unprofessional and "political". I sincerely believe we functioned professionally and that we maintained our integrity throughout throughout the process. We kept our focus on one thing: recommending candidates that in our collective judgment met the criteria and could effectively serve as members of the Board. Like my fellow nom com member Stu Ainsworth said in his blog post
, I stand behind our decision.