David’s column is fair. It accurately describes what actually went on in the meeting. Even though he was under a confidentiality agreement, I could see that the members held back a bit from their normal level of frankness.
None the less, I thought it was a good meeting. One of our newer members, and a long time Vistage® member (Sorry- no links to competitors here! Instead here’s our site http://www.tabsanantonio.com/) expressed how pleased he was with the value received.
Yet, in reading David’s piece it seems to me that we fooled around a lot. It’s true that we laugh quite a bit in all of our meetings. I think that’s due to the fact that the members in every Board know each other well, share trust, and also have so much common knowledge and experience that a lot can go unsaid.
When you are a business owner, the pain of something like an exec who quits without notice is felt by everyone. It doesn’t require a whole lot of commiserating. We all know without saying the disruption, lost hours and further pain yet to be experienced. Not only is development time wasted, but functions have to be rerouted, employees reengaged, and the search process restarted.
Everyone around the table gets it, in a way that’s probably too painful to enunciate or enumerate.
So for someone who doesn’t have that kind of responsibility, does it look like we blew off the important stuff? My first read of Dave’s article gave me the impression that we joked around a lot, and discussed our kids and our tech toys more than business.
The second time through, however, I could better appreciate how hard it is to tell a story in 525 words. Dave covered the major issues we dealt with, and the camaraderie he described is actually an important part of what happens.
Given a choice I would have opted for a more scripted piece focused on the serious debates and terrific value we give and receive in the boards. Through another’s eyes, however, I guess what we really look like is OK with me.