Today I am leaving my hat at the door – Dr Nicole Higgins

I have a thing for Trilby’s. Old school. Usually pre-loved. I have quite a collection.

Wearing multiple hats becomes more common as we move up in the decision-making places of our careers. The good news – this creates a tapestry of knowledge and a depth of understanding, but it also increases the risks and conflicts of interest. One must become adept at treading lightly and not stepping on toes. Sometimes it feels like I am doing a clumsy ballet wearing steel cap boots.

We are more likely to find people in multiple roles when those people become important to organisations or groups due to their connections, skills and specific knowledge. That is exactly where potential conflicts of interest can do the most harm but also create an environment of collaboration. The difficulty is how to manage those real or perceived conflicts with transparency, openness and care. The challenge is how to turn a potential threat into an opportunity.

On a board we are mindful of our fiduciary duties – always doing the best for the group we are representing at the time. More often than not, representational roles are not bound by this, but this is still how we aim to act. Acknowledgement, acceptance and tolerance. In general practice we all agree on most things  – it is the 10% that divides us.

So today, I am leaving my hat at the door. Who knows, it may fit someone else.

3 thoughts on “Today I am leaving my hat at the door – Dr Nicole Higgins

Add yours

  1. Dear Nicole,

    Love this.

    this is where a lot of our ” invented conflicts come on.
    People wearing different hats and constantly being conflicted.
    How do we solve that conundrum?
    The answer to that will lead us closer to our completing that bridge.
    And like I said, can also make us the bridge itself.


  2. Dear Nicole and Deborah,

    This is something I can relate to in a number of my roles. I also wear multiple hats and must also learn how to leave my hat at the door. This is not an easy undertaking, but I’m going to be very conscious about it and see what ensues. I’ve learn from my more stressful experiences in leadership that not doing so can lead to frustration and conflict. What a great message and thanks for writing it Nicole. Would love to learn more about what this means for you and others. Best, Jas


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