The Legal Marketing Association just released the slate of candidates for the 2018 International Board of Directors, and I plan to vote against ratification of the slate.

It has nothing to do with any of the individuals nominated, or any member of the nominations committee, but rather, it’s time for the slate to go. Or to at least be modified to allow for some direct voting of candidates (members-at-large, for instance).

We need diversity of thought and experience on the board. Recent decisions and actions show that there is something not quite right with our current process, and it’s not that the people on the Board are anything but great members of LMA and great people, not to mention good friends. However, together, the diversity of thought and thought process is lacking.

Teamability over individuality

In the spirit of Teamability–an assessment test I took when I was on the board last–we need a variety of personalities to make an effective team.

Teamability is a great assessment because it is not about “Heather, as an individual” but “What does Heather bring to the table as a member of a team?” The diagnostic breaks the personality types down, and actually pairs you with your counterpart:

I’m a very strong Conductor, in case you’re wondering. I put it this way: When everyone in the room is arguing if the glass is half full or half empty, I’m the one who points out that there is a hole in the glass and grabs the duct tape. I pair well with the Curators.

Conductors can be seen as really annoying because we see what’s not quite right, and can barely contain ourselves in pointing it out to everyone else. But we serve an important role; and we’re really good fixers.

Why the slate?

I know one of the reasons for having a slate is so candidates are well vetted. Or that someone qualified on paper might not have the right disposition. Or that an open election could turn into a popularity contest. Or that someone’s feelings will get hurt if they run and they don’t win.

Yes. All of that is true. When I ran for the board the first time, the member-at-large category was open, while the officers were a slate. This was a great place to meet in the middle.

For those not up on your LMA election history, I did not win that first time, which allowed some LMA legends (who became mentors, and now friends) coached me on actions I could take to improve my chances of success the next time around. And it worked.

While the slate is the preferred method, it is not codified in our Bylaws as the only method, and therefore, I am voting no in hopes of beginning a change, or at least a conversation about change. And, yes, I do have some ideas on how that would all work out.