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Author Topic: Leadership styles in clubs...  (Read 42150 times)
K4FMH
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Posts: 253




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« on: December 03, 2012, 07:03:40 AM »

I've moved this post from the end of my previous posting about Boards...

What has been your experience with club leadership? That is, what styles of leadership have or have not worked in the clubs you've attended?

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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K5KNE
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 12:55:09 AM »

There are about 5 styles of leadership found in clubs.

The president brings with him a style that he has developed over the years.  Unfortunately, the most popular hams may not have any management skills or understand the importance of varying his or her style in making decisions.

Telling is a style that is much like a dictator uses.

Persuading is a style in which the leader "sells" his opinion to the group - not paying much attention to members ideas or wishes. He already has his mind made up.

Delegating is a better style which involves the ideas and suggestions of the group but the leader makes the final decisions.

Consulting is even better because there are different ideas from the group and they need to be considered seriously and hopefully a happy medium can be found.  The leader still explains and trys to reach a consensus - then he makes the decision.

Joining is where the leader just goes along with the crowd - good or bad and allows the decision to be made by the group - with him just being a memeber of the group.

WHEN TO USE DIFFERENT STYLES

Telling should be used on emminent danger decisions "everybody leave the building it is on fire".

Persuading can be used when the leader has strong case of what will work best and he seeks the group's approval.  This style is needed when the group is mostly new people who don't know what to do or do not have the skills needed to make a good decision.

Delegating has to be used to do the various jobs or projects in the club. The leader should use this when he has very good resource people whom he will trust to do a great job. Some are probably far more knowledgable about the problem than the leader.

Consulting should the preferred style of decision making most of the time.  All hams are of "equal rank" in a club - regardless of the temporary titles for the year. Sharing the problems and discussing them, getting the ideas of the group is the preferred style for me.

Joining is often used on decisions that really make little difference and is maybe a sign of a weak leader if he uses it a lot. When do we have the Club party, do we want to do field day, do we want to be in the parade, what are we going to have to eat?  Are questions that just joining in with the group and going along with what they like is a good style to use in these decisions.

So, a leader should vary his style of decision making to fit the question or problem.  No one style is best in every situation.  Does this help?

Walter  K5KNE
 
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K4FMH
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 08:13:15 AM »

Thanks Walter...I hope others join you to provide their experiences. As part of the ARRL Delta Division team, we are developing leadership training workshops for annual section conventions. This type of open discussion will help greatly!

Others please join in....

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 01:05:48 PM »

My opinion is that because a radio club is a volunteer organization, the president should be a "facilitator" rather than a "decision maker". Decisions should be made by a majority vote of the membership, or the board members if organized that way. That's quite different than the CEO of a corporation or a military commander who is ultimately responsible to some higher authority. The club president answers to the club members who elected him.

73,
Bob
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W8ATA
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 08:22:21 PM »

Great comments above. From 55 years experience as a ham and various club affiliations, I'll toss in a few thoughts. Club presidents and other officers must be chosen carefully.  One year without good leadership can set a club back far more than a year.  Officers must gain and have the respect and trust of the general membership. Leaders must be able to think outside of the box. The president in particular must value his or her other officers and the general membership and this value must be expressed. Good educational programs are the draw for attendance so they are a must. Service to others in  the community is a must. The Amateur Creed is a great guide for we individual hams. It can work for a group such as a club. Just a few thoughts with a lot of "musts" because I feel strongly about each point.

Thanks for bringing up this topic. And kudos to the Delta Division for their leadership training initiative.

73 to all,
Russ
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N9LCD
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 06:34:44 PM »

I respectfully disagree with AA4PB.

The president (and board members) of a club or, for that matter, any non-profit (charitable) organization are ultimately responsible to a higher authority, THE COURTS, if matters get really out of hand.

If the membership is wrong on some matter, like underage drinking, smoking in prohibited areas, overcrowding, etc. then, if the president has any guts, he or she has to go against the members or QUIT!

Shape-up, or I ship out!

N9LCD



 
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 05:28:39 AM »

If the membership votes to do something illegal then the president should probably resign. I'm talking about the normal types of things. For example, if the majority of club members want to run a hamfest then the president should NOT be able to decide that they are NOT going to do a hamfest. I've seen a few clubs where the president acted as a dictator and it usually didn't work out too well. Members are volunteers and they simply drop out and go elsewhere when that happens.

Actually, I think, according to Roberts Rules of Order if the president is chairing the meeting he doesn't even get a vote unless it is to break a tie.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 05:34:29 AM by AA4PB » Logged
K4FMH
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 06:58:45 PM »

Good civil discussion! This is helpful to get these ideas, experiences, and thoughts down in such a forum.

Others should add to this thread if they wish.

73,

Frank
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K0IZ
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 02:57:03 PM »

I would like to add one technical skill:  the ability to run a meeting.  Diarrhea of the mouth and letting others in the meeting take control over discussion, will kill a club meeting (and membership). 
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K1CJS
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 04:29:49 AM »

...Actually, I think, according to Roberts Rules of Order if the president is chairing the meeting he doesn't even get a vote unless it is to break a tie.

Roberts Rules is simply a guide on how to run parliamentary procedures such as club meetings.  The requirements of whether or not to do something, such as voting on issues, are spelled out in the club constitution and bylaws--or they should be, with Robert's Rules used as the guide as to what is usually done.

In any event, where an issue has to be decided, most good clubs allows for it to be taken up and voted upon at meetings, with the club president being the final decision maker if an issue needs to be decided on IMMEDIATELY--with no time to call a meeting to get a consensus.  Other than that, I have to agree that the president is just a facilitator.  As to holding the president to blame for bad decisions, that is one reason that the meeting minutes are required to be kept--as a protection to the officers for any bad decision being made.
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N9LCD
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 02:13:11 PM »

I would add one thing:

The charter, constitution or bylaws of a club should contain a provision limiting the president to no more than three consecutive one-year terms in office with a three year break before he or she can stand for president again.

After too many years in office, it's possible for the president to become a dictator with the "It's my club" attitude.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

N9LCD
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K4FMH
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 05:31:39 PM »

Good point! Happy New Year!
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AC2EU
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 03:31:31 PM »

I am a member of a couple of AR clubs, and was recently the Coordinator of one.
I believe that the lead roles are to "facilitate" the needs and goals of the charter and general membership.
The problem is perhaps not so much the leadership, but the apathy of the members. Getting people in the two clubs that I am a member of is getting to be increasingly difficult. Many will show up to a meeting to give their input, but those same folks go silent when it's time to get things done.
As a result, the leadership ends up picking and choosing their own agenda due to time/help  constraints because the membership does not participate in realizing their own goals! Very frustrating!

It's gotten so bad that I know of a couple of clubs that may not have Hamfests due to the lack of volunteers.

If the leadership takes the reigns and does it "their way" , some will then call them "dictators" when in reality they are just trying to get things done.
Fortunately, the club that I ran, does not have a Hamfest, so I avoided the problem  and the  label.

In short, rather than just complain, get on a committee or get elected to office. Clubs are supposed to about people participating in a common interest, right?
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K4FMH
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 07:14:57 AM »

Jim,

Thanks for a very insightful post! I've been in those shoes when I was suddenly and unexpectedly handed the gavel of a near dormant Club. When I began to "wave my arms" by getting basic things done for the Club (e.g., getting a website up, broken repeaters back on the air, monthly speakers, a free place to meet in exchange for the group dining there before the meeting), the ex-Prez who quit pulled the dictator card and quit. The Club has moved on and is doing well in a normal succession of new officers. Sometimes you can't win...unless the objective measures are the state of the club.

It's very helpful for us to exchange insights and experiences on this issue. Please, more posts!

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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W6RMK
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2013, 08:52:07 PM »


The problem is perhaps not so much the leadership, but the apathy of the members. Getting people in the two clubs that I am a member of is getting to be increasingly difficult. Many will show up to a meeting to give their input, but those same folks go silent when it's time to get things done.

It's gotten so bad that I know of a couple of clubs that may not have Hamfests due to the lack of volunteers.

If there aren't volunteers, I would think that's a de facto vote of the membership that they don't want a Hamfest...

For a lot of people, the club is a social opportunity, not necessarily a place or venue to get things done.

And, one should bear in mind that even with the best intentions, modern life gets in the way of doing things.  Clubs with a long history point back to their newsletters and say "back in the day we did X". 

But perhaps that was back in a day with different employer time commitments, etc.

As a practical matter, the Jet Propulsion Lab club (W6VIO) was quite active 20-30 years ago, but that was when JPL sponsored a variety of employee clubs and even had something called the "Employee Recreation Center".  Today, the ERC is no more, most of the clubs have withered away or changed their orientations, and the ham club is similar. Life has changed. Employers have changed.

The internet is a huge factor.. Back in the day, if you were looking for information about some piece of gear, or looking for a place to buy it, your local club was a valuable resource: someone had the databook in their garage, or knew someone. Local lore about decent surplus places, hamfests, and selling junk from your garage was a part of the story.   Today, though, I'll bet I could get any arbitrary question answered more quickly by posting it on eham, or googling for it, than asking the guys at the local club.


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