Brian Magness

Brian Magness
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Between the Lines June 2017 issue

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“Chances Are….”

One of the things we discussed, in the March issue, was to have your meeting accomplish ‘something’. I guess I’m directing this toward the chapter officers. It’s not that difficult. There is old/new business that needs to be taken care of. There’s stuff that you do every year that can be addressed early. There may be new ideas that a member could bring up. There may be old ideas that never got off the ground because one certain individual didn’t think it was a worth it. There is always legislation that needs to be talked about. There’s a lot that can be accomplished at your meeting.

“Why don’t we have people showing up to our meetings?” Chances are you are not addressing issues that concern your chapter membership. If you are talking about every other MC/RC/SC that you belong to then you aren’t addressing the majority of your membership.  They’ll lose interest. We, whole heartedly, encourage endorsing every single club or gGroup out there by bringing up their events and their accomplishments but it shouldn’t be the only topic discussed at your meeting.  There is time for these endorsements at the end of the meeting during “Comments for the good of the chapter”. Please bring those things up so your members can be involved with every motorcyclist organization in our area, just don’t let it run your entire meeting.

Chances are the meeting isn’t structured, and by structured we don’t mean the meeting has to be done on an exact time table. We do not have to be done by a certain time when there is still old and new business that needs attended to. This is not accomplishing anything. What we’re talking about is have an agenda. Definition of ‘agenda’ is: “list, plan, outline, or the like, of things to be done, matters to be acted or voted upon, etc.” Robert’s Rules is a time tested and proven way to host a meeting. If you stick to an agenda, you will have newer members think that you are a chapter they want to remain a part of. The key meaning in the definition is “things to be done.”

“I joined because I thought I would be helping my fellow bikers.” Members join to be a part of what A.B.A.T.E. is trying to accomplish and what we continue to accomplish. Make sure they know what bills are in legislation, right now, that they can help make it go our way. When you can look yourself in the mirror and say “I helped make that happen”, you have no choice but to want to do more. Talk about your accomplishments as a chapter. The old guard might get tired of hearing it, but the new members have no idea about your chapter’s history. Be proud! It shows. Like I said last month, people join things because they have a want to be involved and a need to be a part of something. Let them!

“I just don’t want to deal with drama.” Everyone has drama. It’s a part of life. We do have control over how much of it shows in our chapters. Chances are, you have toxic members. As I consult Webster, again, the definition of ‘toxic’ in this situation means; “causing unpleasant feelings; harmful or malicious.” When someone is constantly negative towards everything you are trying to do and everyone in your chapter, it is a real turnoff to anyone who comes to your meeting; not just new or visiting members. Most of us know how to deal with a child having a tantrum, right? The child either change their ways or they get reprimanded (by that I mean they get their ass beat). This toxic member might be one of the people who is around all the time or one of the people who helps out with everything.  Hell, they might even be one of your officers. If you think; “I can’t say anything, we need them” you are kidding yourself. We are adults, well most of us, so why can’t we approach this person or persons and address the issue? We’re supposed to be Bikers, right? When did we have to start worrying about whose feelings we might hurt if it is in the best interest of protecting our own? It is far easier to replace a toxic member than to rebuild a failing chapter.

I’ve rambled long enough. Hope you found this, at least, a little helpful. If you have any issues going on in your chapter and you’d like some advice on how to deal with it, contact your district membership officer and they’ll either steer you in the right direction or they’ll let the right people know. Still looking for a DMO for Districts 4 & 5 so if anyone is interested, contact your District Representatives and let them know. If you have something you’d like me to address in an upcoming issue, please email or give me a call. The link to email on does work. The District Membership Officers and myself are here to help in any way we can.

Stay excited for our purpose and goals.  Thanks for your interest in A.B.A.T.E. of PA. Peace and ride safe.