Brian Magness

Brian Magness
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Between the Lines August 2019 issue

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“Taking It for Granted”

By Brian Magness, State Membership Advisor

We all have the pains of the same handful of people doing everything, every time and not having enough volunteers stepping up for our events. We feel that we get taken for granted. “If I don’t do it, who will?”We feel like the others think, “Somebody will do it.  It always gets done.” You want to know why it gets done?  Chances are that the people doing it feel a responsibility and an excitement for the event or committee.  They also have the ‘want’ for your Chapter to have a successful event.  Well, guess what, it probably isn’t the other people’s fault.

“Hey everyone, don’t forget we have ‘Hazen’ tickets for sale.”  “By the way, ‘Blah, Blah’event is coming up and we need help at the gate.” “Don’t forget, ‘Yata Yata’ is fast approaching so get the word out.” We take it for granted that people know what these events are. Officers or Committee Chairs, when was the last time,in your meeting, that you told Members what ‘Hazen’, ‘Blah Blah’ and ‘Yata Yata’ exactly is? Newer Members don’t know what the heck these things are, so how can we expect them to step up and help out?  People won’t be involved if they don’t know how to get involved.All it takes is a brief mention of what the events are, during your monthly meeting, and people may get a little more excited about the success of the events. If it sounds like fun, then everyone will want to be a part of it.

A few of us were at another Chapter’s meeting, a little while back, and we saw two of the newest Members stepping up and doing collections for our Veterans. They didn’t have to do it. They weren’t asked to head this committee. They saw the potential for their new Family to help out and do some good and they jumped at the chance for the good of their Chapter. My Thanks to those two for what they are trying to accomplish. What we’re getting at is you need to capitalize on your brand new Members. Get them involved right from day ONE.  Hell, recruit them when you are out partying with them if you see they have a skill that fills a particular need. Don’t blindside them. Don’t take it for granted that people SHOULD feel obligated to help. All you have to do is ask and keep them informed. I was groomed to be involved pretty much from the time I joined and I’ve been excited and involved ever since.

So while you are at your event having fun, hugging everyone who shows up, filling all the strangers with joy, and taking care of what needs to be taken care of, get the others involved. “Hey, can you change that keg for me?” “Hey, could you please go tell so-n-so I really need to speak to them?” “Hey, would you mind taking over for a little bit while I go to the bathroom and grab a beer?” Guess what, now you just made them a part of your event and chances are they’ll want to do it again. Don’t ask them to do the crap work, at least not right off the bat, or you’ll lose them forever.

“Well, Jasper over there doesn’t do a damn thing to help us out!” So What. Jasper is around enough for you to be bitching about him so he must be doing something.Try not to let yourself get side-tracked with complaining about the members who have been there for a while and never do anything. Just to let you know, they are probably the Members who were in your shoes many years before you came around. If you ARE one of those Members who has been around for a while and are still doing everything, maybe it’s time to pass the torch. Let someone else do it. You won’t know if anyone is interested unless you ask. Once you get ‘burnt-out’ it’s no good for you, the Chapter or anyone. No one will want to step into that position because all they have heard from you is complaining. Once you let someone else fill your shoes, advise them but try not to tell them how they should do it.Try not to take their good will for granted. You’ll burn them out too.

One thing we all need to remember is that we are ALL volunteers. It is up to YOU to decide how involved you really want your fellow Members to be in order to make your Chapter the best it can be. They all have it in them. We need to be able to let them show it. Again, I hope you can get or regain just a touch of excitement for our purpose and goals.  Thanks for your interest in one of the most respected organizations in the State.

Peace and Ride Safe.

Brian Magness