The Board of Directors at the organization I work for has been asked by the CEO to meet with each department head (my position) individually to discuss the direction of the corporation. I assume the Manager Tool's guidance on exit interviews applies here in that I do not want to say anything to disparage the company or leadership since what I say will not create change, and can only make me look bad.
My question is should I try to avoid the meeting altogether? I believe that was the guidance in the exit interview podcast. I am conflicted because I only know the members of the Board of Directors slightly, and I am looking to be promoted when my boss retires in a few years. I have never had an opportunity to meet with the Board of Directors in the seven years I have been employed there, so it would be hard to pass this chance up.
I feel it can go one of three ways:
I do not meet with them and they think I am disinterested in the future of the organization
I meet with them and give cliche answers and become quickly forgotten, or worse, seen as though I have no intelligent ideas for the future
Say "how I really feel," and get labeled a malcontent.
Is there any way to redeem this situation?