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Congratulations to the New PASS Board Members (And Some Advice)

Just released on the PASS site is that news that Tom Larock, Jeremiah Peschka, and Brian Moran are the new board members for the 2010-2011 term – congratulations, and I look forward to working with each of you!

Unsolicited, I thought I’d offer some advice from the perspective of only a year ago going through the phase you’re about to enter. Perhaps some of it will help!

  • You’ve got two months to get ready and start getting to know how the system works, make the most of that time
  • We expect you to have a voice on day 1. If we’re talking about an issue you don’t know about, ask for details. If you disagree, state your case. You don’t get to spend months or a year learning how things work.
  • Take the time to meet the people at HQ, you’ll rely on them heavily
  • Try to get to know all the board members. Email and phone are ok, but you’ll be surprised how much you can learn about each other during an hour discussion over coffee. PASS Summit is a good time to invest some time in those relationships.
  • We’re not always going to agree, and that’s not fun. We want to work as a group and get along, but if you disagree, step up and say it, whether it’s popular or not
  • Be as transparent as you can be. The line may seem gray, but push right up to the line, let the members see what you’re doing, and what the board is doing. If something goes wrong, take the heat and move on!
  • It’s easy to be captured by the system. Systems exist for a reason. Just because it didn’t work before doesn’t mean you may not be the person to make it work now, but don’t assume it’s because no one thought of it. Take the time to learn the dangers and objections, and if you still like the idea, then break us out of the box!

Finally, I’ll remind you of a great phrase my friend Kevin Kline is fond of; servant leader. Do what’s right for the community, think about to live up to their expectations and ideals, how to make it richer for your efforts. That’s what a servant leader does, and what I hope you’ll aspire to.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by Steve Jones on 21 October 2009

Good advice, especially about transparency. Each member should make a goal of 4-12 posts on a blog about what they are doing for PASS.

Posted by Tim Mitchell on 21 October 2009

Good insight. I'm sure those guys, especially the 2 new members, will be feel caught in a whirlwind over the next month or two.

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