Learning to say 'no'
I have just been asked to consider a nomination to become deputy chair of the New Zealand Vintage Car Club (Wellington Branch). I've been interested in old cars for as long as I can remember—particularly Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Triumph cars from the 1950s and 1960s. (In case you are wondering, the car in the picture is our current indulgence.) We joined the VCC a few years ago, to meet others with similar interests beyond the marques we are most interested in. Now this unexpected approach has come.
While it's an honour to be asked to contribute to the leadership of an organisation, a most important consideration is whether one has the expertise and the time to do the job well. Sometimes the best response is to decline the invitation, despite the confidence others have in you, and the organisation and role being in one's sweet spot.
The challenge for us all is to ensure that we make excellent contributions in whatever we take on. The VCC role includes two meetings a month (committee meeting plus monthly branch meeting) and attendance at various events. It would be fun, but it would also be a diversion. In my case, the priority for the year is to complete the doctorate. Other important contributory tasks include writing and presenting papers at international conferences, facilitating professional development courses for the IoD, a tiny amount of consulting and keeping (somewhat) fit. Something would have to go if I took on the VCC role, but it can't be anything on my priority list, thus my decision. Do you face similar dilemmas?
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.