Knowing all the answers can seem an important measure of competence. However, a greater measure is knowing when you don’t. I remember a partner I once worked for who would say to me “Vicki, I just can’t fit all that into my little pea brain – you’re going to have to make me understand that.” And I would try harder and harder to do so, until finally the pea soup fog cleared and an answer appeared. The point though’ was that until the answer did, he was relentless in professing no knowledge and understanding. There was no need to profess any certainty that I would get there – it was a blanket – I just don’t get it.
Being a trustee is like that. Too many go along for the ride. They nod and agree because they don’t want to appear stupid; rock the boat; be difficult … the reasons would go on for as long as there are trustees.
It is time to stem the tide of the nodding. Good trustees – the trustees you want acting for you – ask questions, do not sign what is put in front of them – are not fobbed off by glib answers. Good trustees know what they know, know what they don’t and know when to put their hand up for some help.
If you or a trustee you know is drowning in politeness and good manners and a determination not to rock the boat see 2 Minute Trustee Success – Knowing when to put your hand up.