As I was walking to lunch today, it occurred to me that I had been sitting on boards of one type or another, for the last 12 years.
Now, this actually isn't a problem. Community involvement is something that really matters to me. It's deeply embedded within me, and not just within me, but it forms a part of who I want to be. Community volunteerism, leadership, participation, those are things that I aspire to be.
There's always a but, isn't there?
I think it started subtly enough, and suddenly it wasn't at all subtle. I could tell that it was a problem when I started dreading meetings. When I spent entirely all too much time thinking about agenda items, and trying to ward off, well, problems.
The sudden moment - when things came to a screeching halt - happened a week ago. The truth became painfully apparent. I am the chair of a board, and this board is being held hostage by a bully.
Yes, that's right. We are 7 grown-ups, and one of us is a bully. And there's a funny thing about adult bully's. It's not as if they go about throwing sand in your face, or punching you in the side of the head.
No, it's subtle. So subtle that you find yourself asking, examining, reviewing. Trying to figure out exactly what to do, to say, trying to understand.
All of this is made further complicated in that this was my last year with the board. I haven't told them yet, but I have been Chair for 4 years now, and it's time to move on. Not actually because of the bully, but because it's time for someone else to take the reins, bring in new ideas, new blood. I had plans to resign in November, at the AGM.
But, if I leave now, I leave the rest of the board, trying to cope with a bully.
So tell me, Oh Wise Internets - what would you do?