As well as being a consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op, Art Sherwood is the board president at Bloomingfoods Market & Deli in Bloomington, IN and is heading into his third and last term as president. As he thought about how to prepare others to take on the role, he believes that alignment is as important to leadership as it is to perpetuation. “My approach has been to get more people into the leadership conversation,” Sherwood said. “Things go so much better if people are on a team and part of the conversations about the team.”

One of the ways he is expanding the board’s leadership function is to include other board members in his monthly meeting with theirCBLD consultant Michael Healy. This has been an ongoing process for the last two years, and generally includes 3-4 board members. “We’re not doing this to add more work or more meetings, but to help us in our work together,” Sherwood said. They don’t just talk about the agenda during these meetings, but their challenges and how to move the board forward. Sherwood thinks the meetings help people feel more empowered to take leadership and initiative, and they don’t need him to provide impetus. “It removes the mystery of what I do so nobody thinks that being board president is too big a job.”

Pullout: “It removes the mystery of what I do so nobody thinks that being board president is too big a job.”—Art Sherwood, board president, Bloomingfoods Market & Deli, Bloomington, IN

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