Day 9 … A colleague asked me for recommendations on questions for a board candidate to determine if they were right for the job. It made me reflect on how so many of us don’t bother with that step at all. We don’t put as much thought and effort into finding the right person for the board as we do in finding the right person for a paid position. Yet in many ways the volunteer leader has more power and often can do more damage (whether through bad actions or inaction).
Day 8 ... No decent phone service, super slow internet, a fridge with an incessant leak and broken shelf, tired appliances, overused, scarred pans, and now no water. Okay I can deal with the first two because they are conditions of being in a mountain area with limited internet and cell service. The others though are unnecessary troubles that are the product of the “fix it when breaks” philosophy vs. the “proactive maintenance & replacement” one.
Day 7 ... I have to run this month in preparation for the triathlon. My son really has to run this month in preparation for high school try-outs. Neither of us love – or really like – to run. My son was sharing that he hated it and just couldn’t do it. He’s gets bored and defaults to walking. My sound advice? Get over it and run. You have to be in charge. You have say “I want to do this” and do it. Sometimes what you’re saying is “I want what this will get me (on the team, to the party, pay raise …).” It’s a means to the ends.
Guess we both have to decide if the goal is worth it and if so, just do it.
Day 1 ... The ride took more than a third longer than it should. What is normally a 4-hour drive became a 6+ hour for a variety of reasons. Traffic. A missed turn. A poor choice at a crossroads.
On the bright side, the slower pace gave me time to think. The altered route a new view. And a discovery that my son has a great playlist on his iPod. It was in many ways just the break needed to refresh.
What if we purposely slowed down the journey, took a different route, listened to a different song more often?
Each year we do something utterly crazy – move the business to the mountains for a month. Eagles Mere Lake to be precise. And every year this is a treat for my creativity, my awareness and even my clients (given that we always come back refreshed and this cool ideas).
For some reason this year the importance of vacation has been appearing it seems everywhere I look. Here are two that really resonated with me ...
12 Most Important Reasons to Take Off (resounding yes to #2)
Every year though some great thoughts and ideas are lost. So I’ve made a promise to myself to capture those in 30 posts. Lake-side thoughts if you will. And I hope my ponderings will yield some comments!
Do ask, don't tell. Need to know something about volunteers or volunteering for your association? Go to the source - the volunteer.
An ASAE member is hosting an informal discussion on what demotivates chapters. The invitation was to all component (chapter) relations professionals who oversee chapter programs for national associations, not chapter volunteers. I doubt that the #1 demotivator will ever come up: the national organization.
Story 1: Can’t find No Volunteers
Two weeks ago, I was in need of a few helping hands. It was an immediate need. The job was short-term: a couple of hours. It could be done in the comfort of your home or office, or with peers over pizza and beer.
I made the first “error” I did a call for volunteer email blast.
I made the second “error,” a few reaches to “safe” people I knew.
Then I went outside the box. I did a search of members within 10 miles of the office. I didn’t include ones from my main volunteer list. I send each a personal email. I gave them options. Was specific about the commitment. I even addressed concerns like “but I’m not qualified.” I told them why I needed them. I began calling. Before I got to the third call, I had 7 commitments from “new volunteers” plus 8 additional replies that while they couldn’t due to schedules, please put them on the list for future opportunities like this.
I sent the new email with a note of who was coming to my regular volunteers and pulled in two for the party and two other regular volunteers formed teams in their office.
Mission accomplished. Lesson learned.
Psst - it's National Volunteer Week. Yep it started on Sunday, April 10. It runs all week. Not that you'd notice in the association world. But turn to the c3 world and it's a different story. Even the White House took time to notice ... as it fought the budget battle.
So what's up with associations? Don't we get volunteers?
As we flew from Walla Walla into Seattle, the sight of Mt St Helen’s piercing the clouds and seeming to appear alongside the plane was breathtaking. This sight pushed the droning engine sound out-of-mind.
Landing in Seattle, the news awaited. Flights cancelled. As I reached to fill a water bottle, the sign above the fountain said “the talking fountain.” With a twist of the handle, a refreshing bubbling sound emerged coaxing a smile and sigh that melted away the anxiety of waiting.
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