A document is sitting in my inbox waiting for my review and approval. On a normal day, I would jump into the review and respond with my comments. Today, I am on leave. The outcome is that I am going to sit on the email until I am back in two weeks. In the interim, I will wrestle with a lingering question. The document comes with the commentary that it has been developed with the support of one of my staff. If one reads the fine print, it is clear that the sender is no representing that the document comes with the staff member’s endorsement or agreement.
As I begin to read, I see why the fine print is important. There are statements that go directly against our discussions on the subject. The product lines that I represent have clearly expressed their views. I have committed that I will represent and honor their viewpoint. This document is not consistent with our public positions.
I wonder why those involved from my team did not feel that they were empowered to take a position. I thought I had encouraged them along this line. I assumed they knew that they had the power to say no. I took for granted that they would act as if it was their business. I realize that I need to be clear.
I am not the first to come to this realization. A blinding light stopped Paul. As obvious as it was to others was not to him. He did not realize what had happened. It took someone else to lay it out. “He said, ‘The God of our ancestors has handpicked you to be briefed on his plan of action.’” (Acts 22.14)
Even as I begin to think through the conversations I will have when I am back, I find myself looking in the mirror. Do I realize the mandates I have been given? Is my role clear in my mind? Do I get it?
I would like to think so. Yesterday tells me otherwise. Today will tell my story of learning.