Do I owe you an apology?

Did I not return an email?

Did I not return a phone call?

Do I owe you something I promised?

Did I offend you in some way?

Are you sick of blog reports on my kids?

Or is it something not covered in this list?

If so, I am so sorry, and I wish to apologize.

Last week I was in attendance at a Bar Leadership Institute in Chicago with Neil Rowe, our incoming president. One of the plenary speakers was Charlene Li, a bestselling author of Groundswell, and Founder of Alitmeter Group. Charlene’s latest book, Open Leadership:  How Social Technology Can Transform The Way You Lead, was presented to each of us as part of the conference.


Charlene’s talk was about transparent and open leadership, and all that this means. When it comes to openness, I think I am pretty open. I think my big challenge is my attempt to be responsive to all of you, our valued members. I don’t like saying no; I don’t like disappointing you; but the reality is that I have to say no, and I do disappoint.  I have written before about the diversity of our membership and your opinions and views on matters involving the bar. I try very hard to listen, and to be responsive. I always talk with our president about matters where I need their guidance or approval, and together, we work hard to manage expectations. But sometimes that does turn around to bite me, because my greatest expectations are on me, and what I expect and demand from myself.

I am in a constant mode of building my “task lists” that are erected in the early morning hours, through the drive, committee meetings, conference calls, meetings with the president, meetings with staff, and the list goes on. I work hard to capture those tasks as they are happening. And then I am always hopeful that throughout the day, I will have the ability to check these tasks off my lists. BUT, once again, reality is a cruel colleague in that it does not always happen.

My goal each day is to attempt, at every turn, to get through my email from that day, as well as the pile from days prior. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get it done. Sadly, I have fallen asleep many a nights, trying to tap out one more email before I… zzzzzzzz’

I have no doubt you struggle with the same realities. In this day and age, I think it would be rare to find someone that does not.

So anyway, the book, which I am still reading, has a lot to offer. My intent is to continue to be more open and transparent, and as always, be responsive to you. I have to better manage expectations of me, you as the volunteers, and the staff as well.

So, if I owe you an apology, please either accept this one, or call me up, and I will say it out loud. One thing I absolutely believe in — we need to own our stuff. In other words, when we mess up, we need to own it. No excuses. Thanks for checking in,




3 thoughts on “Do I owe you an apology?

  1. Mary–I think we’re good. However, it does look like a good examination of conscience. Go and sin no more. Now, a good Act of Contrition.


    • Thank you for your forgiveness Father Eugene…
      Will I see you and Sister Joyce tonight at Jazz for Justice? If no is the answer, then you must do 10 Our Fathers, 20 Hail Mary’s, 40 Act of Contritions, and all while wearing burlap and on your knees…


  2. ouch! You wield a nasty ruler, Mother Superior, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take my punishment ’cause we can’t make it. (Sounds to me like you’ve been watching too much “50 Shades of Gray”)


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