Six weeks ago the team published a preliminary strategy draft. DRAFT is on every page. We explained to each person that got document that this was our initial thought. Nothing in the report was final. Several reviews were needed. One should expect to see material changes in the coming weeks.
In the face of clear statements, caveats, and conversations, several have chosen to see the draft differently. In their view, our preliminary words were final. We should now be accountable for implementing the proposals in the document. Regardless of what further revisions might be made, we are accountable for what is in this draft.
If I had any idea that this would happen I know that I would have done two things differently. First, the recommendations would have been directional indicators, not specific. Second, I would have controlled who has access to it. However, I find myself missing the obvious in the soap opera. I am presuming that others have the same interests and values as our team.
As I look back on other situations, I am following others. Individuals and communities across time have innocently and ignorantly assumed that others shared their values. Additionally, there was a presumption of good will. One authored captured the questions with a bit of irony. “Here you are taking each other to court before people who don’t even believe in God! How can they render justice if they don’t believe in the God of justice?” (1 Corinthians 6.6)
There are obvious lessons I need to remember.
Playing fair is a good thing. Even if you know someone is going to twist your words, holding true to one’s values is the right foundation to use in responding.
Others may have different values and priorities. This means, in your context, that they may not be safe. They can use words and ideas for their agenda. They may try to push you in the direction that fits their goals.
Knowing what might happen should never stop one from acting. Awareness does not meet stopping. Each step will require courage.
The story continues.