Have you ever stood outside on a clear night and gazed at the North Star? It doesn’t ever seem to move – it appears to be the brightest star in the sky – and it just makes sense that everyone from the Wise Men to those on the high seas used this star for navigational purposes. What you can’t tell about the North Star is that there are two of them. The North Star is actually a binary star system.
On December 10th, 2010 SONM had its annual Board of Directors Retreat. Part of the day included a presentation by Jim Reist, the attorney on our Board. Jim shared with us important information about Nonprofit Board Membership, including two primary duties of all Board members – duties that he likened to the North Star. These are the Duty of Care and the Duty of Loyalty.
Included in the Duty of Care are responsibilities of keeping informed, sharing the benefit of personal knowledge, exercising independent judgment, and adopting appropriate rules of procedure. His teaching on the Duty of Loyalty included detailed information about conflicts of interest, confidentiality, insider transactions, and corporate opportunity.
As I looked at the faces of those members sitting around the table that day, I realized how even more thankful we need to be for this group, who like the North Star can be trusted to guide our organization and direct our steps. THEY are shining – brightly – and WE are stronger and better because of them.