So here’s a handy tip for any of you wanting to volunteer your time to some worthy organization: Keep your mouth shut. Seriously, if you speak your mind, offer suggestions, and lend a helping hand, the next thing you know, you’ll end up running things.
Yup, that’s what happened to me with our local Garden Club. Somehow, I ended up being elected President of the danged organization. For some unknown reason, Jed and Clare were not at all surprised.
“You’ve complained for months that this group needed some shaking up,” said Clare. “From what you’ve told me, everyone likes to sit around at those meetings and whine about everything that needs to be done, but no one raises their hand to make things happen. I know you Mattie, that’s not your style. Don’t have the slightest idea why you’re surprised they want you to lead things.”
“Honey, you’re the type of gal that when you see something that needs doing, you go do it,” said Jed. “Someone needs to be the leader of the pack, why not you?”
Why not me? Well how about the fact that this is probably one of the most dysfunctional groups I’ve ever encountered? Or the fact that some of the older members have their heels dug into the dirt and are totally against trying anything new? And can I just tell you about the politics and backstabbing that goes on with some of these folks?
But both Clare and Jed were right. I’m not the type of gal to sit idly by and say not a peep. So you can imagine some of the uproar I caused suggesting ways to get more members and bring some well needed media attention to our little group. That in turn led to some rather animated discussions, but, at the end of the day, the group decided to try some new (and dare I say fun) things out to see what could be accomplished.
And we saw success. Our membership started going up, and our club’s name started getting recognition through a media blitz that we put together.
So as one thing leads to another, the next thing I know is that the woman chairing the Nominating Committee gives me a call and tells me the group would like to see my name on the ballot, as president, for the next election. She even had the nerve to pull an “Oh pleeeze, Mattie?” on me. Sigh. I was done for.
So there you have it folks. Open your mouth, raise your hand, offer to help and before you know it, you’ll have the opportunity to be a leader and figure out ways to put the “fun” in dysfunctional.