What I Cannot Change
"I Study people"
"Over the many years I have been on this planet, I have developed fairly keen sense about human
personalities and behavior".
"There is a big difference between the two, behaviors can be modified or changed, Personalities cannot".
-Mark A. Lacy
"The Dichotomy of the Amateur Radio Club"
by: Mark A. Lacy W5TXR
Is your amateur radio club members list on the decline? Perhaps it's time to take a look at how things might be changed to rectify this issue.
Lets begin by looking at the overall members, as a rule most clubs have a very diverse group of individuals. Different in that the ethnic background, political, educational, racial and economic issues must be considered.
Studies have shown that when you throw a diverse group of people together there is going to be trouble! That being said diversity is not always a good thing. All too often it's a recipie for disaster.
Ever see the TV show "Big Brother" or "Survivor" ? That's all I will say about that! (Take it at face value, don't read into what I say)
Now, Some questions to ask yourself:
First and foremost, how are the finances handled? Has their been some financial shenanigans?
Want to start a range war? Just mess with the club money or property.
Second, I believe it is a good practice to have term limits for your club officers. If one or more of your officers has held on to the job like the Pope, It's time for a change!
Does your club have a "Know-it-all"? I'll bet it does!
The Club "Know-it-all" This can turn people off for one of two reasons, number one, the "Know-it-all" does not know-it-all. He may be a legend in his own mind.
Then there is the "know-it-all" does indeed know-it-all but the his arrogance diminishes the benifit. In other words, He knows he 'knows it all' and truely believes without him the club would die. This type of grandiose behavior is unhealthy for any organization.
Never have just one person spec(ing) out a repeater, or doing club equipment maintainence.
'So easy a caveman can do it' Solution: Establish a technical committee of 3 to 5 knowledgable/trainable hams and let 'em have at it!
Next, virtually every club has a "Pot stirrer" this is the guy that loves to start a fire and then keeps pouring gasoline on it!
We had a member in our club a few years back that fit that description. I just quit going to the meetings until he would eventually move away.
Simple Solution: Selective club membership!
New members should be voted on, period! "It ain't a bad thing"
Many organizations have a selective membership process, e.g. Volunteer Fire Departments, Masonic Lodges, Hunting Clubs.......and so on.
Do a cursory background check on a perspective new member (including criminal) . You might be surprised to learn the the potential candidate may have had an established track record of being a trouble maker in a previous club.
(In my opinion, a person convicted of an aggravated felony should be an automatic bar!)
Do you want a convicted sex offender or an armed robber in your club?
I think NOT!
Next is the Club voting process.
The KISS method ....ah,, wait! "Keep it secret stupid"
I have discovered that there is way too much intimidation when there is a just show of hands. Do you find yourself looking around the room to see who voted for your idea?
Secret ballots are the way to go. It keeps people honest.
I was a member of an organization once where we had to vote on an important issue. A "all-in-favor riase your hand" vote was done and I was in dis belief based on what earlier discussions I had heard. The count was way too lop-sided, I remember thinking something is very wrong.
One person asked for a secret vote and many others jumped on that bandwagon. After the secret ballot was talleyed the vote was overturned.
All because some were intimidated by a select few.
In conclusion, an amateur radio club should be like a family, Supporting, helping, educating and encouraging and caring for your fellow ham.
Next month look for part II
on the Amateur Radio Club Stuff!
I know I will catch some heat for my "valuable insight"
" But, I Don't Care"
The facts are the facts and at least I have the stones to speak the truth!
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