I recently had a discussion with someone I know quite well, and have immense respect for.
I have known him for a very long time, as he is the brother of one of my best mates.
He said to me that he reads my articles, and sometimes he thinks I am wrong and disagrees with what I say.
I was so pleased he said this to me, as I think it's quite positive that we can have differing opinions on various subjects and it's OK to talk about opposing views.
I'm not saying what I write about is correct - it's just my view on the world. Sometimes in life, we just need to agree to disagree.
This started an internal dialogue for me, and an external one that I fleshed out with him.
As I have always looked up to this person, historically I would have thought I was wrong and back tracked pretty quickly - thankfully that's not how I think now.
I have lots of acquaintances with diametrically opposed opinions to me on lots of subjects, and I enjoy the discourse that inevitably flows from discussions on varying points of view.
The other part of the conversation - probably the more interesting aspect - was a discussion of how he has navigated the fraught space of grower representative boards.
Some of these boards have been in existence for many years, long before terms like "corporate governance" and "director responsibilities" were in vogue.
Being a chair of one of these board,s and changing the habits that may have been ingrained for generations, is no mean feat. Some tough conversations are no doubt needing to take place.
This takes a lot of conviction and is very tough, as friendships have probably been formed across many years, and there is a chance the nature of the connection may change.
Friendship may cease to exist in some cases, if the disagreement is large enough.
Being a chair of any board isn't for the faint hearted, and the desired outcome may take a while to achieve, with significant changes to the structure of the board taking place along the way.
In quite a few cases, an independent review of board members and their suitability in the role is required.
In life generally, not everyone will agree with a decision or action. This can become very acute on an agricultural related board.
Some people will self-select and voluntarily leave the board, others may choose to stay and advocate strongly for their stated view.
Such conflicts aren't unique to agricultural boards - there are some similarly strong personalities and potential conflicts on rural local government councils.
Whether we agree or disagree with someone, it's important to acknowledge their point of view.
We may not be able to control lots of situations in our lives - some will be good and others will not be. We can, however, control how we respond. No one can take that choice away from us.
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