Full power on takeoff

I’ve been on the BoD for two years as Secretary, and for a year before that as the then-Secretary’s assistant. In all that time I focused on all the various jobs of a Chapter Secretary: renewals, shows, contests, minutes.  In a word, paperwork.  (Which is ironic, kind of, ’cause I’ve always sucked at paperwork.  My chapter hasn’t kicked me out yet, though.)

In all that time I never gave serious thought to what it means to be a chapter leader.  Think about that.  What does it take to lead your chapter?  It takes dedication and devotion and hard work and sticktoitiveness.  I, well, didn’t, uh, have that.  I did the minutes when I felt like it and rarely spoke up and rarely volunteered for, you know, work.  I rationalized my shortcomings by observing that if anybody else thought they could do better they were welcome to it, and I always seemed to run unopposed.
You know what rationalizations are, right?  Rationalizations are rational sounding lies.

When the head of the selection committee asked me if I’d consider being President next year, my head spun.  For the next couple of hours, I thought about it.  I dare-say my singing was sub-par that night.  At the end of rehearsal he gave me a reprieve and said how about the year after next?
Since then I’ve thought, and I’ve written, and I’ve made notes, and I’ve really dived into my Board of Directors.  There’s nothing that says the President can be the only leader on the board, after all.  I had a long chat with my wonderfully supportive wife, who was fine with me being President, as long as I understood the time commitment involved, which, shall we say, historically I’ve had a problem with.
I think I understand.  It’s not a small commitment, either.  I’ve been reading The Harmonizer, and my District’s newsletter.  I’ve taken advantage of my employer’s manager training materials, started reading John Maxwell’s Developing The Leader Within You (via Kindle on the Mac/iPhone, woot!), and I’ve queued up several other Maxwell titles (all recommended by HR or a good friend who’s an excellent manager).
I realized some time last week I’d need to eat, drink, and sleep Barbershop, because the thought of leading my chorus was completely foreign to me.
Full throttle.  Full power.  Run.  Run.  Because when you’re starting from a standing start, you have to sprint just to get off the ground.

Six TODOs, lots of work, no TODOs checked off

Getting home tonight I had six things on my todo list that were Chorus-y.  I worked for maybe an hour, maybe two, and got a lot of stuff done, and none of them were any of the six things actually on my todo list.  But they were all Chorus-y and (hopefully) will all bear good fruit.  Without going into specifics, I caught up on my BoD email and created some tasks in Groupanizer for some BoD members.

Our BoD approved Groupanizer just last week, and I believe in it so much that I’ve donated 8 months of the first year’s subscription, and I wanted to get started with it as soon as I could.  🙂
After that, one of the things I did that was on my todo list was read Bill Biffle’s “Job One” paper on chapter development.  It’s a great read; if you need a good, proven program on how to build your chapter, go download it.

So you wanna be the President (of your Chapter)?

I’m in a men’s chorus, a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.  Went to my first rehearsal December 2006.  My life has never been the same.

Two weeks ago the head of the selection committee for the Board of Directors asked me if I’d consider being President in 2012.  He let me think about it til the end of rehearsal, my mind whirling the entire time, and at the end of the evening I said yes.
In the coming weeks and months I’d like to write about my thoughts, plans, and activities as (current) Chapter Secretary and (future) Chapter President.  If I do this right, they’ll all be filed under “So you wanna be the President?”, which should make them easy to find (or subscribe to, should the spirit move you :).
To start off, I sat down at my computer and typed a brief “oh my God” pseudo-journal entry.  I’m not a big diarist, but it seemed apropos to capture my thoughts at the time.
Later I thought about all the things I think a good, knowledgable, effective president ought to do and know, and wrote them all down.  It was a long list!  I may share that later.
One of the things I’ve already started is reading back issues of The Harmonizer.  To my shame, I’ve never really made a practice of that in the past.  (I’m more of an Analog guy. 🙂  There’s a lot of good information in there!  If you’re a Barbershopper, read it!  You can even download PDFs from eBiz!
In closing, if you’re a former, current, or future president of a chapter of the BHS or similar organization, please feel free to offer advice.  I’m all ears!