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Are We Committed?
By Mary Lynly

The last time someone asked for a volunteer to take over a project or take on a task, were you one of these people who could hardly get your hand up fast enough? Or, did you think to yourself, “No way Jose – too much work.” If you did agree to take it on did you get all the particulars and find out exactly what is expected and what the time frame is? If you need help – did you get any volunteers? Sometimes, when one person decides to take something on others will help. They just don’t want to be in charge.

There are people who are just plain good at being in charge. They know how to organize a project, they communicate and keep people informed, they have an awareness of what has to be done to meet deadlines and they want to do it right. Being in charge also means you have to share responsibility with your committee or other volunteers or they won’t do anything. You can’t do it all yourself and it’s not productive to do so. Sometimes it is extra work but you need to direct committee members and create some excitement for the project. Sometimes there isn’t much excitement until things get going and progress creates enthusiasm. The bottom line is – wherever you are in this scenario, you need to be committed.

If you are one of those people on a board that is too committed you might feel like you would like to be. Those of us who are “A” types and agree to chairmanships and responsibilities soon find we are in over our head and we eventually wear out. When the leaders lose their enthusiasm and excitement about working for the organization, the organization is in trouble. A few can’t do all the work because it means they are making all the decisions and that leaves “you,” the volunteer who said, “No way Jose” out in left field and no longer a board member – just a bored member.

How about exploring why you became a member of the group?

  • Why did you join?
  • Someone asked me
  • I liked the things the group was doing
  • Someone talked me into it
  • Did you communicate well?
  • Did you answer messages in a timely manner?
  • Did you offer to accept some responsibility?
  • Did you keep in touch with the committee chairman or president?
  • Did you make an effort to attend all meetings?

None of this is rocket science and no one is more aware than I that people are busy these days but as my husband used to say, “You can be the best person in the world but if you are not there you are not worth a darn.” That can be figuratively or mentally. You can’t just go to the meetings and go home and forget you belong.

Case in point: This year during Lent at my church our Deacon suggested we give up nothing for Lent but to commit ourselves to doing good things for others. Since I always struggle with whatever I give up (usually wine or candy) I decided this was great. And you know what, I am in over my head doing good things for others but I love it and am enthusiastic about it – committed.

How about turning over a new leaf and decide you will commit yourself to your organization or group for the coming year and make it even better than it is. Give those “A” types a break and come to the party.

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14 September 2019

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