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When Chapters Have Problems

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I felt it was time to discuss what happens when chapters run into trouble and members start dropping their memberships. In my ten years plus on the Worldwide board I’ve seen it happen too many times. Some of my visits to chapters have been to work out these problems.

Often a well-meaning member (or more frequently) a board member tries to help by taking things in hand. Quite often his communications get out of hand and in many cases he becomes dictatorial.


As an outsider to the chapter it’s easy to spot. He often asserts himself. When other members speak he overrides them and finishes their sentences for them with his own twist. He often puts out memos condemning and denigrating individuals.


When this is allowed to continue he begins to feel self-important and ignore the fact that the group should be about the members and not about what he feels is right. By this time he has lost sight of this and has become demanding and forceful. In this year (2013) I’ve seen at least three examples of this bad behavior.


As a result, I’ve seen board members resign; I’ve witnessed nasty verbal exchanges with both board and membership meetings and as a result I’ve sadly watched membership decline. In one case I am fearful for the failure of the chapter.


Here’s my pep talk for those of you who are reading this: board members need to have their sight on one single thing: the future of the group. When they ‘put their heads on straight’ and look to the group’s future, all personal and individual agendas should fall by the wayside. Nit picking doesn’t work for a group; it puts a bad face on the group and people don’t want to be part of it.

Often times board members aren’t sure of what they can do to handle this. With these individuals peer pressure often falls on deaf ears. So, there are a couple of remedies. First off if enough board members feel this way they can take a vote of ‘no confidence’. The motion can be worded in such a way that (by unanimous vote) it removes the individual from the board. They can also give one of us a call. I am always happy to work with chapters (and visit them when necessary), as is our Vice-President of Chapters and our President. Remember guys, we’re all in this together and we want our chapters to move forward in a positive manner.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 16:53


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