I had a woman tell me I was an idiot. The entire mess landed all of us in the Bishop's office. It got kind of ugly. I think that's why tip-toeing happens. If I squeal or correct someone - I'm the one considered in the wrong - especially when it's a leader. We have this superiority / ranking system (in the Church sometimes), that covers for the "good" guy and discards the "bad" guy.
I've seen it with high councils, in Bishoprics, in wards (with who is "in" or considered "in"). It is another massive human failing. So it's not so much tip-toeing as deciding what course you want to take.
In my case I had been arrogant. The woman who had a gripe was right. I didn't do anything blatantly wrong - like steal or hit, but I said somethings with an attitude that cut some people deep. But popularity was on my side. I was the Young Women President and beloved. Because of my image and calling I sort of out ranked her. Her comments were seen as undermining and so on. In the court of LDS appeal I was acquitted and sanctified. I really believed those judgements were true and that she was a woman with a jealous gripe. Then one day when the incident was far gone I witnessed another similar event - and suddenly as an outside observer I realized I had been just what she saw. Maybe I hadn't meant it, maybe she was overly sensitive - or maybe I was a jerk and idiot.
I don't to this day know how many people I have done similar things to over the years. I imagine more than I would like to count. I can be very zealous when I have a cause I believe in. I can be very animated, dramatic and effective. In those heady moments I am so self focused it's amazing. And if people like my energy and presentation they grant me miles of forgiveness - even are blind to my errors. They are on my side and it really helps in a war of hurt hearts. I've been there; I know.
In the first meeting (the last 15 minutes of the third hour meeting), I started by saying to everyone:
Why are these committees generally such a failure?
After getting the initial stunned looks and a few comments, I told them that I thought it was because we didn't spend enough time on them (because we didn't have enough time in the first place), we tried to tackle too many things (given how busy everyone was with other responsibilities), we came up with grandiose plans (or, in the case of the Missionary Committee, we simply acted as a wing of the Ward Mission and ended up doing administrative things for the Ward Mission Leader) and we didn't establish any unique things to do that were simple enough to accomplish. Therefore, my focus would be on nothing but community service, not for the sake of conversion, but simply for the sake of service. I told them the Ward Mission Leader could focus on "missionary work"; we would be focusing on sharing the Gospel - that he could build the kingdom of God and we could work to establish Zion. Service was something we could do without any angst, without a huge time commitment and without feeling like failures.
Volunteers generally want to do something fairly simple that makes them happy without creating more burdens and responsibilities in their already busy lives. Conversely, many leaders want to change the world or, at least, have a major, visible impact - and it isn't always ego-driven or a bad thing in any way. They just have a bigger vision, if you will, and more confidence in their ability to enact a bigger vision, than the other people do. They also tend to forget that worker bees still need to fly all over the place for most of their available time to gather the honey they need to survive.
My advice when it comes to a leader working within a volunteer organization is not complex:
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Take longer to do what you envision doing.
Respect volunteers as volunteers.
Find tasks can be done and, through being done well, provide feelings and experiences of success.