Boards Are Better With An Audacious & Sagacious Rabble-Rouser

While lexicographers correlate a rabble-rouser with a “demagogue,” this fundamental mischaracterization undermines the nature of the “loyal opposition.”

How resourceful is a rabble-rouser? Do his or her contributions come highly recommended or strongly denounced?

This underexplored, interspersed group may shock you as an invigorating force, whom peripherally, appears undesirable. The rabble-rouser’s nature is to arouse the passions and prejudices of the masses. He or she challenges the status quo to elicit alternative perspectives. He or she faithfully plays the devil’s advocate, which fundamentally transforms ideas from conceptual to concrete.

Asking the Hard Questions

As ideas transition from conceptual to concrete, the cognitive process demands an intense exercise. This is where the temerity of a rabble-rouser meets the demand. Rabble-rousers have a distinct level of curiosity. Even as their inquisitive nature creates the illusion of an annoying, irritating, nosey, and downright vexing individual, they merely embody the absorbent aspect of a sponge. Because of their relentless craving for information, facts, and data—rabble-rousers eagerly seek to marshal strengths that eliminate protracted corporate issues with concrete results.
A rabble-rouser typically excels in originating unsought new ideas, making them the perfect fit for many organizations. By generating unsought ideas and providing responses in the form of valuable input, the rabble-rouser empowers its team to recall pertinent information respecting corporate strategy. Therefore, his or her generative nature creates a supportive atmosphere, rather than an opposing environment.

Provoking Insight for Organizational Gain

Even as rabble-rousers are inherently provocative, this fundamentally positive attribute usually yields remarkable organizational benefits. While they may hold a strong influence over others, they aim to educe the latent talents of the masses in order to incorporate new ideas. And, with the rabble-rouser’s ability to relate a coworker’s specialized skills to the total program of the organization, this profound strategic synthesis of creative ideas would inevitably certify profit-oriented results. However, make no mistake—their strategic talents are not confined to boardroom engagement. These provocateur rabble-rousers seek to build partnerships in new markets and establish cohesive relationships with community leaders, volunteers, and agency staff. With the rabble-rouser’s proclivity to marshal strengths, he or she ensures that no talents are misapplied nor wasted.

Keeping the diversity-of-the-minds concept at the heart of the corporate vanguard, the board should consistently prepare for intellectual engagement with the rabble-rouser. Creating a supportive and collegial atmosphere will mitigate any defense reflexes others may project. Additionally, since rabble-rousers champion the collection of information, consider sharing with them news articles, books of interest, and any other facts or stories that fuel their inquisitive momentum. Further, try pairing the rabble-rouser with focused and disciplined individuals. This team-building exercise comprised of these unique strengths would orient the corporation to actualize a greater number of triumphs.

Overall, by providing an intellectually stimulating environment designed to develop good conceptual ideas with practical application, the nonprofit-director-as-rabble-rouser will ensure maximum resource utilization while orienting the organization to achieve capital gains—which comes highly recommended.

Attorney Zac Kester provides generalist and strategic nonprofit legal and consulting services. He holds a Master of Laws, a post-law school advanced degree, in which he studied the unique needs of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. His legal and consulting career has focused on nonprofit organizations.

With highly experienced legal and training personnel, Charitable Allies provides all manner of legal and educational services for boards, officers, management and staff of myriad charities throughout the sector. From basic one-time questions about a single matter to training for boards and officers to complex reorganization or merger of activities, Charitable Allies is your go-to cost-effective provider of legal services to nonprofit organizations.

Contact Zac Kester, Executive Director, at 317-333-6065 or zkester@charitableallies.org with any questions.