The other night, I attended one of those unfortunate, but all too common dysfunctional radio club meetings. (The name of the club will remain confidential.) You have probably been to one of these sessions where the leadership of the club is frustrated because they feel like only a few of the members are doing all of the work. The other folks may come to the meeting but are reluctant to sign up for anything.
The topic of discussion happened to be Field Day. The plans in place were not coming together and the leadership was getting frustrated. My point of view was quite simple: if no one wants to help with Field Day, then let’s not have Field Day. Heck, this radio club stuff is supposed to be fun. If we are trying to make activities happen that people don’t want to support, then we are probably off in the weeds.
This caused some of the folks to raise their hands and say “yes, of course we should do Field Day and this is how I can help.” So things are probably on track for now. Maybe.
This situation is not unique…most clubs (of any kind) have the core group that does most of the work and the secondary group that does much less. Sometimes the players change depending on changing circumstances such as family and work obligations, but the structure tends to remain.
I came up with a couple of simple rules to avoid frustration in this kind of situation:
- Don’t volunteer to do anything that you aren’t personally motivated to take on. If you aren’t doing it because you truly want do, then you’ll end up resentful if other folks aren’t “doing their fair share.” It’s a volunteer organization, after all.
- Don’t expect others to sign up for volunteer work because you think it is important. Their priorities might be different and it is totally their decision (see Rule 1).
- Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way. If you want to make something happen, get out in front and lead. If you don’t want to lead, then follow. Commit your own time to making it happen (see Rule #2). If you can’t lead or follow, then stay out of the way.
I get enough of this “gotta do it” stuff at work. Ham radio should be fun.
What do you think?
73, Bob K0NR