Board members need to understand the underlying metrics of the organization they are charged with oversight. While you may have been selected to serve for reasons of friendship or specific skills or contacts, you have taken on a leadership role with often comes with significant personal liability.  You have some protection, even when your decision later prove to damaging to the organization, if you can show that you spent the time early on learning the inter-workings of the organization and market in which it operates.  More important, though, is what system of metrics oversight did you require the organization to provide to you as a board member. This is where the rubber meets the road for leaders of business, associations and government. Rick Chess lead as board member and then President a national organization back from the edge of collapse (, helped build from the start a $2 billion in assets NYSE company (FPO), and served as a state legislator (PA).  What might he do to help you with your leadership and governance issues?