I am a Bonehead. I can’t help it. I can’t keep my mouth shut. It either gets me in trouble or creates work for me. Often, the trouble is easier than the work.
I have been involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars now for a few months. I told them that their newsletter was, ah…. bad. So being a bonehead, I “volunteerd” to do a better job. This was both trouble and work.
First I had to build them a database to maintain good membership information so we can keep everyone well-informed regarding events. It is interesting how many members do not have email addresses nor good contact information. Maybe this is due to the age of most members (World War II and Vietnam). Since I volunteered to help “in any way I can” the post commander is trying to take full advantage.
Our post commander has many programs and progressive ideas that he is having trouble implementing. He is meeting the normal resistance to change that rears its head whenever “new ways” show up. I spoke with him to express my opinions as to how he can handle the situation. Guess what! My approach is new so he resisted. He heard, however, his closed body language let me know that he was not listening. I am slowly whittling away at his resistance.
In my opinion, the issue is that he has way too many things he wants to accomplish, he does not have a clearly defined vision for what will be accomplished and he has not outlined to the staff and membership how to accomplish them. He has a fuzzy vision and no real tasks to make the vision happen.
I suggested that he pick a maximum of five things, clearly define what the end product looks like and put together a plan of action that defines the objectives, tasks, talents and tools necessary to make it all happen. I pointed out that we are a volunteer organization. We are no longer soldiers who follow orders without actually knowing the final objective. To get us to follow, he has to actually lead and engage us. In other words, run the post like a business not a military organization.
Now, I am asked to participate in everything that goes on which I resist as often as I can. It takes too much time and too much work. This is my reward for clear, levelheaded business thinking on my part.
All I really wanted to do was sit at their bar and drink cheap drinks and reminisce with fellow old Vietnam veterans about the good old hippie days. Google “hippie images” to see what we used to look like.
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