What James & His Ladder Tells Us

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In a 155-word story, Cynthia D’Amour answers the question. What question you ask? The question of what’s more important: that our chapters follow our rules right down to the last detail or that they deliver great, meaningful results?

Cynthia ends a short story of how James carried the giant ladder home rather than fighting it onto the car with a poignant question “What do you do when new members want to try oddball ways for getting work done?”

James could have strapped the giant ladder to the car and driven very cautiously and slowly home. He could have rented a van. He could have called around to his friends to find a larger car/van to borrow. He could have paid a delivery fee. Or he could carry the 20-ft, 23-lb ladder the mile home. What does it matter how? He got the job done.

Isn’t it time for those of us at the national/global office to look back at our chapters policies and scrub away the how-to requirements (and the related measurements upon which we mete out accolades for that focus on completing the checklist), leaving the focus on the result? This doesn’t mean we have to stop offering tips and tools and advice on how-to’s. It doesn’t mean that eschew training. It means that we focus on the outcome.

Oh, and we celebrate the creative solutions and the equally creative souls! In fact, start that celebration here by sharing your odd-ball, success story.

Thank you Cynthia!

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.