Stepping up to the plate in 2017

Published February 17, 2017

Sometimes we’re asked to step up and take responsibility for doing something that feels difficult. An example would be where you are asked to take on a professional trustee role for a client.

While we may feel obliged, we do have the freedom of choice. We can either say yes, or no.

Accepting positions of responsibility is sometimes also about doing the right thing. While we may have doubts and uncertainties, these can also be the times for personal growth and learning.

American author Seth Godin has written about the link between freedom and responsibility.

As he puts it, freedom is the ability to set your schedule, to decide on the work you do and to make decisions. On the other hand, responsibility is about being accountable for your actions.

He goes on to say that freedom and responsibility aren’t given, they’re taken.

In other words, when we step up to the plate and agree to take something on, we are choosing to act and choosing to take the associated responsibility for our actions.

Stepping up to the plate is also about being able to act when an opportunity presents itself.

One such opportunity for professional trustees is the new Trusts Act which is expected to be introduced later in 2017. The new Act will lift the bar on standards for trusteeship and professional trustees have a window of opportunity to get their house in order.

That may mean choosing to exit unrewarding appointments, or figuring out what’s needed to put things on a proper footing for others going forward. For many it will likely involve a little of both.

Whatever the decision required, for many professional trustees it will mean stepping up to the plate to address things that may not have been done as well as they could have been in the past.

Practically, how should professional trustees do that? If you’re time poor, what simple strategies will improve commercial value, lower risk and deliver better outcomes for professional trustees?

Later this month, in association with Connectworks, I’m presenting my thoughts on ways professional trustees can responds to these challenges for themselves and their trust clients.

The seminars are in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and you can get more information here.

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