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.