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Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 | I was struck by this observation in today’s commentary (“New Perspective on the Port

Commission“): “The same recycled faces have populated city boards for years. Oftentimes they are political friends, leaving them less likely to engage in constructive conflict.”

The stickiness of friendship applies not just to city boards, but to all boards where common goals and shared values prevail. Oftentimes the result is a chummy form of quid pro quo where the currency is friendship, approval and praise.

This creates an environment in which “go along to get along” is fostered. Getting along in order to be one of the group is important for security and self esteem. But surrounded by such warm fuzzies, it’s easy to slip into situations where loyalties impede due diligence, starting with simple questions.

Such contrarian efforts can often be stopped in their tracks with the challenge “Do you want to be right or liked?” But it’s not about being right; it’s about doing the right thing.

Affinity vs. integrity – such a dilemma! Constructive conflict – quite the remedy! It seems worth looking into as a means of having it both ways.

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