Don’t let fear of critics stop you from running
It’s always much easier to find fault than to find a solution.
That, as any office-holder has come to learn, is an unpleasant fact, because tearing something down without suggesting how to construct a new and improved replacement is the nature of political discourse.
People want to be heard, even when they are arguing nonsense. It happens all the time in Congress, in the General Assembly, in county government and at the local level, and nearly every citizen — at least the ones who have been paying attention — has been guilty of doing that at one time or the other.
That’s why the best advice potential board of directors candidates heard at last Thursday’s Ocean Pines Search Committee session came from Director Doug Parks: “… you better have thick skin … You’re going to get a lot of disagreement. If you fold up and wilt like a flower, then you’re probably not really maybe committed to doing this.”
If there is one thing that current and past members of the OPA Board of Directors will agree on it is that wallflowers will not do well, given the frequently vociferous objections they are likely to encounter at some point during their terms.
This doesn’t mean, however, that service to the community as a board member is something to fear and to be avoided. On the contrary, participation in that capacity is vital to the community’s well-being, and even the less-than-stalwart can do it.
The key to serving on this or any other board of equal significance, aside from having a thick skin, is: be ready to compromise on anything but your principles and integrity, understand that the job is about the membership and not you personally, be willing to grit your teeth and listen to even the harshest critics because they might actually have a valid point, and whatever you do, keep it respectful even when you feel it might not be deserved.
Anyone who can subscribe to the aforementioned will do just fine on the board, and we encourage all such individuals to give it a shot. Maybe you win, and maybe you don’t, but the community will be better off for your trying.