Local Loss!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Yesterday, I sat with a small group that had gathered to meet for a final time. En route to participate, I didn’t realize they’d pre-agreed for this meeting to be their last. In my past and having worked with groups, I’ve learned they can re-plan, re-energize and be revived. These participants, however, felt tired, they were finished and unwilling to try again.

Thus ended Bend’s Chapter of NOW. Too bad, for these are times calling for more public participation in anything political. It’s also a textbook example of organizational failure. Its organizer and leader is bright, articulate, and charismatic, and in the beginning, had lots of goals, energy, and ideas. Over time, she wore herself out, likely from not knowing how to delegate effectively. It’s a serious art–to delegate and support, that like all arts arises from careful pre-structuring and pre-planning. Group success requires communicating well and arises in a group that has negotiated, clearly stated, and agreed on a mission and vision.

Some of this group participants yesterday drove long distances to attend. The leadership team is educated and offers impressive track records. Three years ago at this Chapter’s startup, all felt eager and worked hard. Over time, as general interest dropped off and recruiting participants became difficult, those self-burdening with the most work began to sense failure and feel burnout.

This Chapter after its first couple of meetings didn’t communicate adequately (at least to me) its plans and activities. I had joined, but never receive emails or saw information on social media. Essentially, my membership has fallen into the cracks, although last night’s group insisted on having recruited and communicated regularly with 300 members.

There were problems because the National NOW also imposes structural requirements on chapters. Ultimately, demands became too difficult to achieve. It’s understandable, the hardships in keeping alive a chapter. It’s sad, too, when well-meaning people come together, after sharing interests and energy, to give up and disband. On the other hand, maybe they’ll find productivity again, maybe by reunifying and establishing new goals better-suited to their combined capabilities.

Dear Friends: Leadership is an art that well-practiced, yields, guides, supports potential. Diana

One thought on “Local Loss!

  1. I am pretty amazed that Bend cannot find enough support for NOW. There are so many well educated women in this small city. Thanks for your report. 😊

    Sent from my iPhone

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