The communications consultants tell me that the issues with my leadership style are reaching crisis point. ‘Overly autocratic’ is the expression they keep using. They’re concerned about my ‘credibility with some of our key stakeholders’; apparently they’re looking for more transparency on the financials, they’re not entirely bought into the strategic direction, and they’re moaning that I’m making arbitrary decisions. The divestments in Normandy and Anjou haven’t been popular, and they’re being quite difficult about future contributions to budget. The ‘I’m the king’ message clearly isn’t resonating. A couple of them have taken quite a confrontational stance – turned up uninvited in London. We’ve talked about fronting it out, or issuing a written statement, but the advisors say it’s too late for the first option, and a statement could be perceived to lack authenticity. Apparently it’s all about direct engagement, so they’re advising that I deal with it face to face. Meeting scheduled June 15th, Runnymede.
June 15th 1215
Meeting didn’t quite go to plan, leadership mandate took quite a bashing. Barons were in assertive mood, pretty vocal with their demands for a change of management direction. Definitely got the sense there had been some offline conversations ahead of the meeting. Was hoping to have it over and done with in a couple of hours, but the Archbishop of Canterbury produced a 63-point agenda of demands. Tedious conversation about justice, fair trial and feudal payments, and a huge tangent about removal of fish weirs. Worst outcome is that I now need the general consent of the realm to ask for taxes. Nightmare. Scribes have gone off to commit it all to vellum. Think we can probably water it all down in practice, but will put a brave face on it for now. ‘Articles of the Barons’ doesn’t inspire as a title for the document though. Have briefed it into branding – one bright spark suggested ‘Magna Carta’. Can’t see that working…
June 15th 2015 is the 800th anniversary of the signature of Magna Carta by King John II of England and the barons at Runnymede in Surrey, less than 20 miles away from AD Communications. This document shaped the rule of law in the English-speaking world and is arguably one of the earliest written bills of rights in history. Four original copies of this 800 year old document survive, two in the British Library, one in Lincoln Cathedral and one in Salisbury Cathedral, incredible testaments to the enduring power of physical media.