On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:23 PM, Chris Keating <chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
> **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
> > our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
> > leadership and to address these issues."

> > Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
> > your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
> > rebuilding.
> If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
> November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
> only thing they could have done.
> The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
> support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
> would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).


I really, really disagree.

If a board does "straw polls" to avoid having to record votes in the public
minutes, that is a problem.

If the chair of the board says the board is unanimous when the board is not
unanimous, that is a problem.

If a board feels dissenting board members have to resign, that is a problem.

> Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
> their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
> staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
> instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
> inevitable."

This is not, I repeat NOT, what "unanimously committed in our support of
Lila in her role" means to the casual reader.

Please don't defend people writing in riddles.

There seems to be this idea in the Wikimedia universe that it's okay for
leading Wikimedia lights to write messages whose surface meaning turns out
be at stark variance with the facts, as long as it can be shown with
hindsight that there is a particular way of parsing the statement that
makes it compatible with those facts.

This sort of sophistry is not helpful. It does not build trust.

It's like me telling you "There isn't a single error in this document." So
you proceed on the assumption that the document is correct. And when you
find out, to your cost, that what the document said was complete
balderdash, I then turn around and tell you, "I never said the document was
correct. It is a total lie to claim I said that. I said that it didn't
contain a single error, and I absolutely stand by my statement. What I said
was 100% correct. The document contains hundreds of errors, not a single

How much trust would you have in anything I might tell you next time?

If leaders have something to say, they should make every effort to say it
in such a way that anyone capable of speaking English understands it the
right way the first time, rather than sculpting sentences with hidden
trapdoors yielding secret meanings diametrically opposed to what the
message seemed to mean.

> (I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
> confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
> have helped *anyone* in November)

No. You are either transparent and honest, or you are not.

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