DEAR HARRIETTE: I serve on a community board in my city that has done a lot of good over the years. I have had many different roles, and it has been a good run. I am getting older now and want to retire.
The problem is that the board is small, and its members are pressing me to stay on. I appreciate the support, but I have had health issues and know that it is time for me to step down.
I spoke to the chair of the board recently, and he refused to accept my resignation.
To guilt me, he claims that if I leave, the board will be in violation because they are required by law to have a certain number of board members.
I’m sorry if that is true, but that is not my problem. How can I extricate myself without things getting ugly?
Time To Go
DEAR TIME TO GO: Because you are so committed to this board and its work, consider giving them a deadline by which they need to find a replacement board member, and agree that you will remain on the board in the meantime. Make it clear that when that date arrives, you will be leaving, period.
Remind the chair and the board of your unwavering commitment to the work as you also reinforce that it is now time for you to retire from this role. Be prepared to submit a formal letter of resignation to the board in which you list your reasons for leaving. Should your departure put the organization in jeopardy, remember that it is not your fault. You gave them ample notice and many years of service.
DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine wrote a book, and I have offered to help him promote it. It turns out that he is pretty shy and reluctant to accept my help.
I know that he has to hustle himself in order to get the word out and sell. I don’t mean to be pushy, but if he sits back and doesn’t do anything, chances are, the book will come and go without any fanfare or real sales.
Should I continue to push him to promote himself even if he doesn’t currently feel comfortable doing it? If so, what can I do to get him to do more?
Promote Your Book
DEAR PROMOTE YOUR BOOK: As an author myself, I can tell you that writing a book is very different from promoting it.
Many authors are quiet and somewhat reclusive, so it can be hard for them to step up and wear their marketing hat. Indeed, many authors don’t know the first thing about marketing.
You are kind to want to help your friend. Maybe you can start small with him. Offer to host a small gathering of friends who will want to learn about his book. Create an intimate book signing where he will feel comfortable talking about his book. This may warm him up for larger engagements.
However, know that you can only push so much. If he continues to balk, stop. Let the future play out as it will.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.