ARE WE ASKING TOO MUCH- Margaret Achter, GCBM
Well, Co-workers (and Brothers, too), our new year has begun! Hopefully we have a full slate of officers in each of our units, and the volunteers we need to fill the various chairs. We are all set to be MOOSE ON A MISSION!
My question, and it may pertain to Lodges a well as Chapters, is this: Do the officers and chairmen really understand what they are expected to do? Granted, the basic duties for offices and chairs are outlined for us in the General Laws, our handbooks, training sessions, and perhaps noted in our unit policies, but are there other duties pertaining specifically to our Lodge or Chapter that have fallen into a gray area that doesn’t get mentioned? Are there things we expect our officers/chairmen to do that we don’t tell them about, or don’t remember to mention until that specific duty or job comes up – and then we say, “Oh, yeah, that’s YOUR job!” In those instances, and perhaps some others, we may be asking too much!
Our officers, in particular, have made a commitment to an awesome amount of their time and efforts for this next year – and perhaps beyond! We all have our scheduled two meetings each month, plus at least one regular officers’ meeting. Several special or emergency meetings might be called throughout the year, and joint officers’ meetings may be set for once or twice monthly! These are all necessary and important to ensure our planning, recognitions, and special and regular events come off as planned and are successful, and our Chapters and Lodges run efficiently, profitably, and according to the rules and regulations. We know this is all time-consuming by itself.
So, beyond all these meetings, do we also expect our officers and chairmen to assume hidden duties? Are they responsible for securing volunteers for specific events? Are they responsible for cleaning duties not written down anywhere? Are they expected to fill vacant volunteer positions they didn’t even know about? Do you expect them to attend EVERY event your Lodge/Chapter holds? Are they expected to fill a bartender’s shift on a regular basis? Okay…you get the idea!
The point is…are we asking too much of our officers and/or chairmen, so that when we ask our members to come forward to take an office or a chair, their refusal is a recurrent and resounding NO!
They may see, or have seen, other officers/chairmen doing so much that it may lead them to believe they, too, would have to emulate those actions. And who knows…they might really want to hold an office or a chair, but they either may not want to work THAT hard or simply do not have the time or physical ability to devote to doing all that work! Could those extra duties perhaps be performed by someone else? If you ask, maybe there is the right person for the job out there in your membership!
So let’s be realistic: be clear about the duties involved; reinforce the fact that leaders should LEAD, should lend hands-on support when needed, but involve other members as the opportunities arise. We do have other members…don’t ignore them – ask for their help, too. Remind them that these events might not continue if there is no volunteer help. Mentor the new members, or those who may have belonged for a while but have not yet “jumped in with both feet!” Reacquaint them with the many volunteer opportunities they can help with and become active, integral ad contributing members of the Moose fraternity. Help them make it THEIR Lodge/Chapter.
To wrap it up, be sure to make all officers’ and chairmen’s duties clear, don’t spring surprise duties and responsibilities on them…don’t ask too much of them…share the wealth and enjoyment of volunteerism with other members…and DO show appreciation, offer thanks and recognition…and have some FUN while achieving success on all fronts.
And finally, because members may see the same people working all the time and thus those people seem to be “running things,”…, if, as in many cases your leaders are accused of being the “clique” that runs the Lodge or Chapter…make sure all your members know that there is plenty of room in “the clique” and invite them to join!
Thank you all…for all you do!
Margaret Achter, GCBM