One line I remember from years ago is that there was a reason we were given one mouth and two ears – so as to listen more than we speak.
In this my fifth Policy Statement, I want to cover a concern I have with the communications, which take place presently between our grassroots members in District I and the Board of Directors.
This came to life, in my opinion, in the recent District I Councilor Caucus around the Fall National Meeting. In the time allotted for this caucus, virtually 95% of the time was spent in hearing reports given to us by aspects of governance. The remaining 5% was allotted to introductions and any other business. In my opinion, this is unacceptable!
As District I Director, I would use these caucuses to activate my “two ears” and listed to what is important to the members in the District. And, here is what I would do to reshape future caucuses:
- I would not wait for such a caucus to report out to the members what the Board is doing. I would make such reports out regularly after each Board meeting.
- Likewise, leading to any Board meeting, I would report out on actions being discussed seeking the input of the members in the District on such actions.
- I would ask for an independent person to run the District I Caucus. It can be through the rotation of different host Local Sections within the District, or by asking the Chair of the Northeast Region to run the Caucus.
- I would allocate at least 50% of any District Caucus to hearing what is on the mind of those attending and on the minds of the members within their Local Sections.
- I would then take that input as a path forward for action by me, as the District Director.
One problem I see far too often in industry, academia and member organizations (such as the ACS) is where decisions are being made that impact staff, employees, members, etc., without the input of those same people. Far too often, good intentions are replaced by bad decisions.
This position statement confirms my intent to use the two ears I have been given to serve you and to hear from you – and my one mouth to let you know, in a timely manner, what is happening at the governance level.
As I stated in my position statement, I am not running for a “seat” on the Board – that seat is not mine to sit in. That seat belongs to you – each individual member within District I. I would rather stand around that table of governance and make a difference than sitting at it thinking it’s about me. I am willing to do so for this 3-year term in honor of those who deserve to take that seat…. You – the grassroots members within District I.
And you can help, by:
Giving me a need –
Giving me a problem –
Giving me a challenge –
Giving me a chance – to serve you!