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Re: suggestions for journal improvements etc

Clyde wrote:
RE:>> the Wilkins group.

How far has the infiltration of the dark side penetrated?  I'm pretty much a
newbie to this world of Hosta politics, and from within this particular
association, but I am of the opinion that a primary responsibility of the
leadership in any volunteer organization is to learn how to effectively dodge
bullets.  No matter what position one takes, there will always be nay-sayers and
those who love to criticize (witness those posts which some perceive as critical
while some say, "right on!").   I've seen in my past year of being on several
lists, that there has been significant challenges to authority, whether it be
legitimate or imagined authority.  Aren't we always going to have this kind of
problem until we rewrite the bylaws to limit the terms of officers to be only
two years?

I don't care if the person elected to the post in the nicest person since Jesus
Christ himself; give them a few months in the position and relationships will be
formed.  Often these relationships are important in order to get something
accomplished; some of these are because the leadership is being pulled over to
the "dark side" unawares and the "good ol' boy syndrome" is kicking in.  Some
might even be just good business sense--you scratch my back and I'll scratch
yours.  (Always an easy target of the rank and file, so leaders choose whether
to become aloof, refusing to be friendly to anyone, or forming working alliances
while not cowtowing to criticism, simply ignoring any political infighting).

The major culprit, as I see it, is the length of term.  The primary way in which
potentially detrimental working (translated, influence peddling) relationships
are prevented is to rotate people out of their positions of responsibility
frequently.  The downside is that you waste time having to educate those who
would fill the posts.  You don't get to have it both ways.  One way associations
get around this is to have a President elect in position for at least one year
prior to assuming the position, and to have ex-officio officers helping with
training.  Is that how it is currently being done here?  If the terms were for
two years, and the successor was known and was serving for one year prior to
assuming office, the transition would not be as difficult.  But no matter, there
are always things to complain about.

As I said, I don't care if is Mother Theresa, John Kennedy, President-Elect
Bush, Martha Stewart, or whomever is sitting in that position--when you're out
in front you're going to be all alone.  Part of the job includes learning how to
effectively dodge the bullets.  Keep you head down, Jim, here comes another

I'm sorry that I don't have the benefit (baggage) of a background on these
issues.  I know some are real, and I know some are imagined, but in any event,
there is one other possible curative action that can be taken--hiring
professional association management.  How many of us are ready to see our dues
double or triple to hire even one Manager with but one paid staff member?
Full-time association management costs some bucks.

I guess I'm at a loss as to what is so wrong with the current regime?  Are we
elevating C. H. to the position of Messiah, possibly having such high
expectations that he is doomed to constant criticism because we're expecting so

What are the top ten things that need improvement?

Andrew Lietzow
Dumbfounded (or am I guilty of being "found dumb"?) in Des Moines...

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