Board members tend to perform their duties in the same ways they perform their jobs.

Corporate CEOs are very comfortable making major decisions and then letting others implement them. They keep their eyes on the big picture and let subordinates handle the details. They also feel free to shift direction whenever they feel that is called for.

Small business owners make those same kinds of decisions with ease, but then also carry them out. They don't like to delegate anything. They are accustomed to doing things themselves and not consulting with anybody about their actions.

People who generally follow others' orders are not always familiar with executive decision-making.

They are the detail people in their organizations and when they have to make major decisions, they often do it collectively, so they can share responsibility and gain strength from the support of colleagues. And they are loathe to stray from the original directive.

Folks who are not currently working may adopt the styles of past employers or simply adhere to the social etiquette of the current group.

Those who have served on Boards of large organizations, may be accustomed to large expenditures and staff leadership.

When their experience is in small, all-volunteer groups, they may assume financial resources will be scarce, Board members and other volunteers will do all the work (there is no staff), and everybody will be involved in even the tiniest decisions.

Sometimes, Boards will consist of members with a mix of working habits, and might grapple with the differences while debating or discussing organizational matters.

Whatever is the case in your association, it is very likely you will have to adapt to styles that are in conflict with yours and, perhaps, which you don't think are really appropriate for the group.

To succeed, you'll need to learn how your Board members think, and create painless ways for them to shift a little bit and do some things differently than they might have done without your nudging.

But reconciling the gap between how they act and how you think they should act is going to pose a significant challenge and one that will never be completely met.

So, be patient, and figure out how to make the best of a less-than-perfect situation.