Take a step back, I know you don’t want to, I know that this makes up your weekend, and the success of the club depends on you being there, but set up and empower people, make them and the rest of your club understand each others roles, and then move away. They will stand up, they have no choice, or others around will tell you otherwise anyway, in which case you take alternative actions.
By having others stand up around you, and take off most of the burden from your shoulders, you are producing a stronger club that will be more inclined to be better, to come up with their own ideas, and it won’t all fall in a heap when you do eventually resign… which you will do… one day.
Transparency is good business.
Transparency is good business. If the people involved in the club know and understand why the sponsorship drive is so important, or why a club can’t give away free t-shirts, they may be more likely to give you a hand.
A few suggestions to increase the transparency could be;
- Produce an organisational chart, insert the names of those in the positions, and print it out into a poster size document and put it on the wall in your club rooms.
- Give them an idea of costs, by advertising how much insurance costs are, how much the canteen costs to run, or the new equipment is to purchase.
- Start including other non-committee members on committee like actions, get more people involved. The more involved, albeit in a third party fashion the more awareness there will be of the sheer quantity of effort involved.
Volunteers always win.
Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.
That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships—to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.
Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.
Remarkably successful people sprint forward.
Source: Business Insider
The spirit of repetition
If you and your club lose the spirit of repetition, your club will become quite difficult.
A well oiled machine is easier to take manage and places than one that backfires, and grinds and groans. The additional benefit is that it will attract better people and more volunteers.
What to focus on…
Running a club successfully isn’t about the excitement, but rather the ability to concentrate on usual everyday routine.
If you are becoming too busy, too extended with your thoughts of world domination, your club will soon become rough and ragged from not focusing.
In the midst of noise and change make sure you are still focused on the true mission of the club and it is quiet and stable and those that are involved with it are content.
This incredible memo, purportedly issued to all Major League Baseball teams in 1898 as part of a documented campaign — spearheaded by John Brush — to rid the sport of filthy language, was discovered in 2007 amongst the belongings of the late baseball historian Al Kermish, also a respected collector of memorabilia. Essentially an on-field code of conduct, most amusing is that the memo was in fact so expletive-laden and obscene as to be “unmailable” to its intended audience via the postal service, and so was delivered by hand to each of the League’s 12 clubs and their foul-mouthed players.
A fascinating document.
(It’s worth noting that experts are somewhat divided about the document, with some believing it to be a satirical memo, circulated amongst players at the time in response to what was a very real campaign within the organisation. Either way, very notable. Discussion can be found here, here, and here.)
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Robert Edward Auctions. Enormous thanks to Jaime Stearns.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO PLAYERS.
In a contest between two leading clubs during the championship season of 1897, the stands being crowded with patrons of the game, a gentleman occupying a seat in the front row near the players’ bench, asked one of the visiting players who was going to pitch for them. The player made no reply. He then asked a second time. The gentleman, his wife who sat with him, and others of both sexes, within hearing distance, were outraged upon hearing the player reply in a loud, brutal tone, “Oh, go fuck yourself.”
On being remonstrated with by his fellow-players, who told him there were ladies present, he retorted he didn’t give a damn, that they had no business there anyhow.
This shocking indecency was brought to the attention of the League at the Philadelphia meeting in November, 1897, and a committee was appointed to report upon this baseball crime, define and suggest for it a remedy.
In response to nearly one hundred communications addressed to umpires, managers and club officials, soliciting definite, positive and personal knowledge of obscene and indecent language upon the ball field, the committee received a deluge of information that was so appalling as to be almost beyond belief, showing conclusively and beyond contradiction that there was urgent need for legislative action on the part of the League.
That such brutal language as “You cock-sucking son of a bitch!” “You prick-eating bastard!” “You cunt-lapping dog!” “Kiss my ass, you son of a bitch!” “A dog must have fucked your mother when she made you!” “I fucked your mother, you sister, your wife!” “I’ll make you suck my ass!” “You cock-sucker!” and many other revolting terms are used by a limited number of players to intimidate umpires and opposing players, and are promiscuously used upon the ball field, is vouched for by the almost unanimous assertion of those invited to speak, and who are competent to speak from personal knowledge. Whether it be the language quoted above, or some other indecent and infamous invention of depravity, the League is pledged to remove it from the ball field, whether it necessitates the removal of the offender for a day or for all time. Any indecent or obscene word, sentence, or expression, unfit for print or the human ear, whether mentioned in these instructions or not, is contemplated under the law and within its intent and meaning, and will be dealt with without fear or favor when the fact is established by conclusive proof.
By Order of the Committee.
[UNMAILABLE. Must be forwarded by Express]
When your club upsets one of its members it isn’t a bad thing.
In order for that person to have become upset they have to first be quite heavily invested in what your club is, what it stands for and where it is going.
Only in a relationship with someone who couldn’t teach the club anything would there be no arguments. No development, No evolution.
…and that wouldn’t be a fun club to be in!
Are Meeting Formats Still Relevant?
Every meeting should have an agenda, a time-keeper, minute taker etc, all helping to produce a goal(s) that you want to accomplish.
But are traditional meeting structures out of date? Does the new generation of instant satisfaction, those that are used to instant emails, SMS’s, success and promotion have the patience to sit through the most formal of practices?
Arranging the agenda to quickly whittle through the tasks at hand is getting ever more important. If an agenda item is not contributing to the required outcomes, take it out.
No one will miss it.
If they do miss it, point out that they should have added it to the agenda and include it next time if it is again validated.
It doesn’t matter how interesting the numbers are, or the feedback from that group is, if it’s not going to support the main objective of the meeting it’s merely a distraction and an obstacle to your clubs success. It will likely also add to the pain that drives volunteers away from such committee positions.
Advice from C.S.Lewis
Whilst you may not consider C.S.Lewis, the fantastic writer behind The Chronicles of Narnia could advise greatly on running a club, his comments regarding writing, written to a young fan in June of 1956, are completely relevant to clear and simple communication. A critical skill when it comes to management.
What really matters is:–
1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.
2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.
3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”
4. In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.”
5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
Point 4 is rather interesting when relating back to club management, building a club in which the community will be proud of and will talk excitedly about without your marketing input is one well worth building!
Being able to delegate effectively is critical to running a successful club without you burning yourself out first. TidyClub introduces Tasks, a way to inform your Users of tasks to be completed.
Your user will receive an email both when the task is first raised and again when it is due.
We hope you enjoy your new found efficiency!
Zen and the Art of Cash Flow
Cash flow is everything, be it in business, and even more so in not for profit clubs, where absolutely every dollar counts.
Track it, understand it.
Understand how and where the cash is coming from and work smarter for it.
Give your sponsors an update a few times throughout the year. Reciprocate with a framed jumper, or photo of the club with a sincere thank you letter. Sure there could be a number of reasons that they may have handed over money or facilities or a variety of intangible goods, it could have been because their child plays for you, could be because they’re sick of you hassling them or it could be because of the tax benefits.
Whatever the reason, if you reciprocate with a worthy ‘thank you’ gesture, whatever their reasoning, it will have been justified, and you will have an even better chance of securing them for the following year or season.
Stagnation is common in business, clubs, and any organisation which has a manager or someone giving directions.
More than likely they will fall into a similar routine, perhaps as a result of producing a winning formula and sticking with it. This is good for the immediate future of a club, and it may well build the foundation for the long term benefit of the club. But unless you step back, review and then adjust, your club won’t understand what exactly it is that is working, what has been required, or how to do it.
Stepping back and reviewing doesn’t mean leaving altogether. It may mean you sit on an advisory board to the club, it may mean that you sit in on committee meetings to lend advice when asked, either way you’re still available.
This is important for those that eventually take over from you, along with those that merely participate in the club. They get the message that this place, this club is SO good that even the ex-President wants to stick around. It facilitates the sort of message you want your club to present, and breeds betterÂ decisionsÂ and more volunteering.
The goal of winning.
Whilst attending a clubs conference recently we were asked a question about winning. A Gridiron football club was having trouble attracting players because they weren’t winning. In their mind the correlation between attracting and retaining players was directly impacted by the win, loss ratio of the season.
I won’t lie, there is a correlation between people wanting to be a part of winning sides, and clubs and more broadly in life. But lets for a moment looking merely at the maths.
There are 10 sides in your competition. Say only the top 5 will make finals. Meaning that you have a 50% failure rate. Of those that make finals only 1 will win the Grand Final. Meaning you have a 10% chance of being successful and retaining your playing group; provided that this is your focus.
Our argument is that as administrators you should be focusing on making your club successful regardless of the final scoreline. Leave scores and on-field success to the coaches. Your focus should be on creating a great environment to be around, a fun social scene, to provide the coaches and players with all the tools necessary to give them the best chance of winning.
Build your club for off-field success… on field success will soon follow.