It is difficult if not impossible to be a person of influence or even a person of substance without making an error of judgement. And of course one does not know that one is making an error until after the event.
It is also impossible to be a person of influence or substance without taking risks. So one looks at the job to be done and the potential impact of one’s involvement. As a servant leader one always wants to err on the side of doing too much rather than too little I think. And then one assesses the risk - potential reputational damage being the greatest.
The thing is, you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t really know another person’s intent or agenda in co-opting you to a project. You don’t know how deep their sincerity lies when they say they need your help. But worst of all - you don’t know what they don’t know which could potentially place you both on a path you could never have foreseen. All of this not knowing puts you in harm's way.
However, if we made our choices with a prevailing sense of not knowing, our lives would come to a grinding halt. No one would get married, or have children, or enter into business partnerships or even start anything new. Not knowing cannot therefore be a reason not to do.
When it comes to helping; when it comes to effecting change; when it comes to contributing to a vision you believe in, unless one has a solid reason not to, one must take the chance and offer the gifts one has. Because whether you are a singer or a strategist, your input is valid and valuable.
So I would rather you didn’t pretend to know for sure. I’d rather you didn’t quote scripture or best selling books at me to justify your involvement. If you simply said, “To be honest with you, I don’t know. I’m not sure; but I’d like to try and help if I can....” If you said this, I would understand you, because haven’t we all been in an awkward spot at some point? A spot where we really can’t be sure of what’s going on, or if our team-mates are sincere? So if you said this to me, and if your choice turned out to be a bad one, me and maybe 13 million other people would find it easy to forgive you. If you just acknowledged that you too, are not too sure.
words for work
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