Over the years, we’ve seen some inexplicable behavior. Usually, it’s when change is underway. There are some basic truths and one is that change is hard. Boards and their staff can come through even radical changes successfully as long as everyone is on board.

But, what if one of the board members is belligerent in their opposition to the change? Worse, what if it’s a subversive tack that undermines the association’s success in service to the general membership? And, let’s make the situation even more dire by adding in the fact that many of the other board members did business with this man.

The situation was a real one. The board member at issue so undermined staff and trash talked the big annual membership event that it had to be canceled. This cost thousands of dollars in lost expenses and wasted staff and board time. He may be a feckless bully but his power was stunning. Who on the board should have approached him and defused his baffling behavior?

It’s awkward. We learned the troublemaker’s business was in dire straits and he clearly was a miserable man wielding the only power he had left. What damage he did to so many in his industry whose membership money he wasted and to those who would have benefited from the annual event content.

How would you have handled this situation as a fellow board member?

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