Working in organizations has its benefits. I can accomplish more with like-minded people than I could working alone. Although like-minded people share the same general goal the methods used to achieve it may differ. At this point in my life, I am not interested in titles or leadership roles. I am content to coach from the sidelines – or am I? It seems that as soon as I step out of one leadership role another one is waiting for me. At one point I held three leadership roles in a volunteer organization. I cut it down to one seasonal role. Thought I was on the road to a leadership-free life.

Then I joined a small Toastmasters club to hone my public speaking skills. I promised myself, I would not take a leadership role. The club was small and everyone except me was an officer. In previous years. when elections came around I respectfully declined to serve. But this year they got me. One person had served in a position that she didn’t feel comfortable in for years and she had other obligations. I figured she needed a break. Besides, the role didn’t seem to be that taxing, or at least, it shouldn’t have been. Well, Murphy visited and employed his law, “If anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible time.”

Before the ink was dry on my appointment form two people joined the club. As treasurer, my role is to collect money from them, deposit it into the club account, and then submit their dues to Toastmasters International. The problem: I was not on the account yet. The former treasurer and I went to the bank to remove her and put me on the account. We learned that the club had the wrong type of account. The bank representative informed us that the former president had to be removed from the account before the former treasurer could be removed and then I could be added. The bank representative stated that the current and former presidents and treasurers all need to be present to make the change. Getting all four of us together was like herding cats. If one person was available another was not. I felt a great deal of frustration because I couldn’t fulfill my treasure responsibilities due to circumstances beyond my control. That’s when it hit me; I’ve got to practice what I preach.

If a client had come to me with this issue, the first question I ask after s/he finished venting is: “What do you really want?” The second question: “What are you willing to do to get it?” What I wanted most was to complete the process of accepting new members. I was willing to follow up with others as often as necessary and overcome technical issues. I was tactful but persistent and it paid off. Our new members are on board. Work relationships work for those who work on them. That’s practicing what I preach.

 

Working in organizations has its benefits. I can accomplish more with like-minded people than I could working alone. Although like-minded people share the same general goal the methods used to achieve it may differ. At this point in my life, I am not interested in titles or leadership roles. I am content to coach from the sidelines – or am I? It seems that as soon as I step out of one leadership role another one is waiting for me. At one point I held three leadership roles in a volunteer organization. I cut it down to one seasonal role. Thought I was on the road to a leadership-free life.

Then I joined a small Toastmasters club to hone my public speaking skills. I promised myself, I would not take a leadership role. The club was small and everyone except me was an officer. In previous years. when elections came around I respectfully declined to serve. But this year they got me. One person had served in a position that she didn’t feel comfortable in for years and she had other obligations. I figured she needed a break. Besides, the role didn’t seem to be that taxing, or at least, it shouldn’t have been. Well, Murphy visited and employed his law, “If anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible time.”

Before the ink was dry on my appointment form two people joined the club. As treasurer, my role is to collect money from them, deposit it into the club account, and then submit their dues to Toastmasters International. The problem: I was not on the account yet. The former treasurer and I went to the bank to remove her and put me on the account. We learned that the club had the wrong type of account. The bank representative informed us that the former president had to be removed from the account before the former treasurer could be removed and then I could be added. The bank representative stated that the current and former presidents and treasurers all need to be present to make the change. Getting all four of us together was like herding cats. If one person was available another was not. I felt a great deal of frustration because I couldn’t fulfill my treasure responsibilities due to circumstances beyond my control. That’s when it hit me; I’ve got to practice what I preach.

If a client had come to me with this issue, the first question I ask after s/he finished venting is: “What do you really want?” The second question: “What are you willing to do to get it?” What I wanted most was to complete the process of accepting new members. I was willing to follow up with others as often as necessary and overcome technical issues. I was tactful but persistent and it paid off. Our new members are on board. Work relationships work for those who work on them. That’s practicing what I preach.