Would you like to join our committee? Well NO Actually!


Is it possible for a nine letter word to mimic a four letter word?

When it comes to this word I believe so. The life of a leader is often filled with meetings. This is not a bad thing provided they have purpose, they have actions, they have outcomes. The thought of a meeting where you accomplish little and talk much makes me cringe. This is my perception of “committees”, they have meetings. They accomplish little other than talk a lot about what needs to happen.

So I checked the definition of what a committee is and was surprised to find that the word actually has a noble purpose…

A group of people officially delegated to perform a function, such as investigating, considering, reporting, or acting on a matter.

Acting, great word! Not very many committees I have been a part of get around to this part of the definition, but there sure is a whole lot of the considering part.

Here is a better definition in the form of a quote by Milton Berle

“a committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours”

No thank you I won’t be attending that committee meeting.

Do not get me wrong there is a time to discuss, a time to investigate, a time to learn and a time to negotiate. However there is another important word that leaders need to get, that is consensus.

Tell me the truth do you think that this word means that everyone has the same opinion and the decision is unanimous? Did you?

Here is what I found online:

An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole

The way I read it a group agrees that a decision be taken and that they will support the decision. They may not completely agree this is the best decision, merely that they agreed to support the group decision

Why is this important? As a leader we need to be able to get to a decision even when not everyone is going to agree. We need to be able to listen to others perspectives and balance this need against the ability to move quickly.

I call this balancing consideration with execution. Both are critical and often oppose each other in the life of a leader.

We are going to talk about this theme often in the coming months both here on Developing Leaders and on my blog site www.materialleadership.blogspot.com

I am really looking forward to this and hope you are as well

Lead well


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Posted in leadership, Leadership Roles and Responsibilities
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