Did you just say that?

Who knows how many meetings I’ve attended. We’re just 23 days into 2011, and I’ve already been to 36.

Because I spend so many waking hours this way, I love it when a good line comes out of these group scenes. It might be amusing, entertaining, or instructional for you if I occasionally blog about the most memorable meetings of my work life. So here goes…

A few years ago, a colleague [note I protect the innocent] said,

I figure if we’re not ticking somebody off, we’re not doing our job.

First, I laughed. Then, I felt encouraged because this line was bold. Close your eyes and reflect on meetings you attended last week – did you hear anything bold? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

This line also stuck with me because it motivates me. I’ve added it to the phrases that replay in my head. I’m convinced that if I’m ticking somebody off, that means I’m:

  • suggesting a big change,
  • supporting something we don’t usually do around here, or
  • proposing a direction that will reduce somebody’s turf

If my ideas, plans, and decisions get no reaction, I worry. Similarly, a lukewarm response is disappointing because perhaps more was possible. On my best days, I’m bold. When goals of a project I’m leading produce the tell tale now you’re talking crazy look during a meeting, I know I’m onto something.


Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

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