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Re: [Spam] Re: [bbshop] Re: Society and declining membership. Hello?

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  • Stephen Rafe
    Hi Marti -- I agree... mostly. 1 -- The concept for chapter meetings advocated by Chuck Greene and Eric Jackson still works, where it s used. 2 -- The
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 30 9:47 AM
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      Hi Marti --

      I agree... mostly.

      1 -- The concept for chapter meetings advocated by Chuck Greene and Eric Jackson still works, where it's used.

      2 -- The questions then become:

      a) Why don't socializers start their own chapters and choruses? Possibly because they, being socializers (affiliation drive), don't want to work that hard at developing a chapter or chorus ( achievement drive) or run an organization (leadership drive).
      b) Why don't achievers start their own chapters and choruses? Possibly because they, being achievers (achievement drive) don't want to spend their time on administering a chapter (leadership drive).

      Needed? Place a higher value on administrative leadership across the entire organization from top to bottom. Give it the recognition it deserves because without it we don't have chapters or choruses. Teach members how to become good leaders, give them tools that work (such as the Jaycees' "portfolio" concept that simplifies each and every job, show them how to use these tools, and reward the heck out of them for good leadership (not for just showing up and staying out of the way).

      3 -- All of this takes top-down leadership, and the people we've had in those posts for the past two decades I've been a member have failed to address or solve the problem(s).

      4 -- We don't need to throw out leaders -- we need to throw out the non-leaders, make room for new blood, and train up the ones with potential.

      Stephen
      STEPHEN RAFE

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Marti Lovejoy
      To: Harmonet
      Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 11:13 PM
      Subject: Re: [Spam] Re: [bbshop] Re: Society and declining membership. Hello?



      OH, but it WOULD work, because the "fun" guys would be recruiting for
      their own "fun" chapter. It's been said here how small a percentage of
      the organization participates in international competition... that means
      there a a potload of chapters that are NOT emphasizing competition and,
      as you say, are socializers - let's have them get out there and
      socialize the heck out of the other men in their communities and grow
      the "fun" part of this Society!

      If both types of members would quit trying to change each other and just
      do what they like and share it with men they think will enjoy it, too,
      the Society would be growing by leaps and bounds.

      BHS doesn't need to throw out leaders - it needs to have members who
      take responsibility for their own little corner of the BHS world and
      make a big success THERE (and leave the other guys who like it a
      different way alone). BTW, the competing chapters are having so much
      fun doing it "their" way, they often attract singers without even trying
      too hard!

      Marti



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mark Schuldenfrei
      Stephen, you confuse me. You first said, amongst many other things: My goal is simply to focus on the realities of the BHS -- we are going under [...] Marti
      Message 2 of 15 , Mar 30 6:01 PM
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        Stephen, you confuse me.

        You first said, amongst many other things: "My goal is simply to
        focus on the realities of the BHS -- we are going under [...]"

        Marti helpfully suggested: "If all the people who think there
        is too much emphasis on competition got out there and each
        invited one or two or three men to join, they would have lots
        of new friends to do barbershop "their way."

        And you replied: "If only that would work."

        Well, if having more friends come and sing barbershop, and
        join chapters and perhaps invite more friends won't work:
        what would?

        I see an awful lot of wailing and moaning on this list about
        the high end problems, and the failures of others. But I
        suspect that the solution is as simple, and as grassroots
        as Marti makes it to be.

        Stephen, tell us: what makes your chapter successful and
        has helped it grow? How many members has it gained in the
        last few years? How has your prescription for success
        borne fruit?

        If we could all have successful chapters, BHS could easily
        take care of itself. Stephen: how did you do it?

        Mark Schuldenfrei
      • Mark Schuldenfrei
        ... This begs for a musical reference, doesn t it? So, we re casting the Mikado, and Stephen seems to be trying out for the Lord High Executioner. And he s got
        Message 3 of 15 , Mar 30 6:22 PM
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          On 3/30/2013 12:47 PM, Stephen Rafe wrote:
          > 4 -- We don't need to throw out leaders -- we need to throw out the
          > non-leaders, make room for new blood, and train up the ones with
          > potential.

          This begs for a musical reference, doesn't it?

          So, we're casting the Mikado, and Stephen seems to be trying out
          for the Lord High Executioner.

          And he's got a little list....

          Mark "They'd none of them be missed" Schuldenfrei
        • Stephen Rafe
          Happy Easter Mark. ... From: Mark Schuldenfrei To: Stephen Rafe Cc: Marti Lovejoy ;
          Message 4 of 15 , Mar 31 5:54 AM
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            Happy Easter Mark.


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Mark Schuldenfrei" <mark@...>
            To: "Stephen Rafe" <rapport1@...>
            Cc: "Marti Lovejoy" <lovejoymar@...>; "Harmonet"
            <bbshop@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:22 PM
            Subject: Re: [Spam] Re: [bbshop] Re: Society and declining membership.
            Hello?


            > On 3/30/2013 12:47 PM, Stephen Rafe wrote:
            >> 4 -- We don't need to throw out leaders -- we need to throw out the
            >> non-leaders, make room for new blood, and train up the ones with
            >> potential.
            >
            > This begs for a musical reference, doesn't it?
            >
            > So, we're casting the Mikado, and Stephen seems to be trying out
            > for the Lord High Executioner.
            >
            > And he's got a little list....
            >
            > Mark "They'd none of them be missed" Schuldenfrei
          • Stephen Rafe
            Maark -- Thank you for showing us your sarcasm. You are SOOO clever that I surrender. Stephen STEPHEN RAFE ... From: Mark Schuldenfrei To:
            Message 5 of 15 , Mar 31 6:09 AM
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              Maark --

              Thank you for showing us your sarcasm.
              You are SOOO clever that I surrender.

              Stephen
              STEPHEN RAFE
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Mark Schuldenfrei" <mark@...>
              To: "Stephen Rafe" <rapport1@...>
              Cc: "Marti Lovejoy" <lovejoymar@...>; "Harmonet"
              <bbshop@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:22 PM
              Subject: Re: [Spam] Re: [bbshop] Re: Society and declining membership.
              Hello?


              > On 3/30/2013 12:47 PM, Stephen Rafe wrote:
              >> 4 -- We don't need to throw out leaders -- we need to throw out the
              >> non-leaders, make room for new blood, and train up the ones with
              >> potential.
              >
              > This begs for a musical reference, doesn't it?
              >
              > So, we're casting the Mikado, and Stephen seems to be trying out
              > for the Lord High Executioner.
              >
              > And he's got a little list....
              >
              > Mark "They'd none of them be missed" Schuldenfrei
            • Stephen Rafe
              Mark -- I am surprised that you find yourself confused. however, I ll l provide the following information to the group as a courtesy to the members who attack
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 31 6:59 AM
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                Mark --

                I am surprised that you find yourself confused. however, I'll l provide the
                following information to the group as a courtesy to the members who attack
                problems, not people.

                Point One -- I wrote that with empathy. The truth is we have not ever known
                all the people she mentioned to invite two or three men to join. Most
                chapters know that even our "Guest Nights" are not that productive. Even so,
                "inviting" is not enrolling new members. Many chapters fall short when they
                get new men in the door. Retention is another issue to which my comment
                responds. Most of us could do a whole lot better at that. The finest
                recruitment campaigns we have received from men like Ev Nau have eventually
                faded away. Further, if the tools for retention are available, why aren't we
                all using them? I have asked several chapters this question about their own
                organizations. The typical answer? "Not enough time." We have a right to
                expected our elected and appointed leaders -- and their respective
                committees -- to come up with solutions, guide our chapters in implementing
                them, and then following through with them to ensure success. My only point
                from the start of this entire thread has been this: If our leaders aren't
                making a difference, replace them.

                Point Two -- I have been a member of four chapters over 20 years. In the
                first one I was BOTY and sang with a registered quartet. I started the
                second chapter because the first one's chorus director -- a great guy! --
                had goals and expectations that differed from mine. For the most part, we
                used my methods in that new chapter and won numerous administrative and
                music awards. Starting that chapter was strongly resisted by neighboring
                chapters (although we created ours in a community of over 100,000 residents
                that had never been recruited and we brought in over a dozen men new to
                barbershopping that had never heard of the hobby before -- and they stayed!)
                That chapter failed after I was in a serious car accident and needed,
                ultimately, seven surgeries and I still suffer with neck pain from a
                hairline fracture that didn't heal). The founding of that chapter was also
                strongly discouraged by District leaders (one of whom is probably a member
                of this group). That chapter then folded under the leadership of the then
                president (who was a District chapter counselor last year). After the death
                of my youngest son, I lost my marriage and my home, and moved to an area
                that didn't have a chapter close enough for me to join. Some years later, I
                joined a then-new chapter and helped with the administrative start-up. They
                did quite well as a chapter and a chorus. I moved again and joined a chapter
                that was failing I offered my help but far too much was going on behind the
                scenes for meaningful change to happen. They are still struggling and I am
                no longer a chorus member but remain active in a registered quartet.

                Point Three -- Asking how well my methods work in saving chapters begs the
                response: The chapters that could benefit most have to want to change and
                they have to be willing to devote full effort to bringing that about. The
                methods worked fantastically well in the chapter I founded -- despite huge
                opposition and criticism. The one where I assisted somewhat were already
                benefiting. I didn't try to change my first chapter and my most-current one
                is locked into doing things their own way.Each has a handful of somewhat
                active members.

                Over the past year or so, I have provided members of this group and the
                directors' group with numerous articles and papers they have requested. Each
                publication was (is) a single-subject piece that provides specific, how-to
                guidance on the subject that concerned them. At last count, I have sent out
                over 500 copies of documents to well over 100 chapters. I literally put my
                money where my mouth is -- because I give away information here that clients
                and customers pay for. Yet, despite my requests for feedback from each
                recipient on how they used the material, and my further follow-up efforts
                with many of them, only a small handful have done more than praise the
                material and say they are using it. Some others have responded that they
                haven't had enough time, they no longer hold that board post, or that they
                passed the information along to others.

                Therein lies another topic: Why are so many chapters deficient in
                follow-through? And that takes us back to the need for leadership oversight.

                Stephen
                STEPHEN RAFE
                .
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Mark Schuldenfrei
                To: Stephen Rafe
                Cc: lovejoymar@... ; bbshop@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:01 PM
                Subject: Re: [Spam] Re: [bbshop] Re: Society and declining membership.
                Hello?



                Stephen, you confuse me.

                You first said, amongst many other things: "My goal is simply to
                focus on the realities of the BHS -- we are going under [...]"

                Marti helpfully suggested: "If all the people who think there
                is too much emphasis on competition got out there and each
                invited one or two or three men to join, they would have lots
                of new friends to do barbershop "their way."

                And you replied: "If only that would work."

                Well, if having more friends come and sing barbershop, and
                join chapters and perhaps invite more friends won't work:
                what would?

                I see an awful lot of wailing and moaning on this list about
                the high end problems, and the failures of others. But I
                suspect that the solution is as simple, and as grassroots
                as Marti makes it to be.

                Stephen, tell us: what makes your chapter successful and
                has helped it grow? How many members has it gained in the
                last few years? How has your prescription for success
                borne fruit?

                If we could all have successful chapters, BHS could easily
                take care of itself. Stephen: how did you do it?

                Mark Schuldenfrei
              • Mark Schuldenfrei
                ... And a zissen pesach to you, Herr Rafe. :-) Maybe, in your season of renewal and rebirth, we can focus on more positive messages about the future of
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 31 7:09 AM
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                  On 3/31/2013 8:54 AM, Stephen Rafe wrote:
                  > Happy Easter Mark.

                  And a zissen pesach to you, Herr Rafe. :-)

                  Maybe, in your season of renewal and rebirth, we can focus on
                  more positive messages about the future of barbershop, and
                  offer each other constructive advice.

                  Mark Schuldenfrei
                • Mark Schuldenfrei
                  ... I think you miss my point, rather thoroughly. You have your list of hanger s on that you want removed, you seem thoroughly bothered by the leadership of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 31 7:18 AM
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                    On 3/31/2013 9:09 AM, Stephen Rafe wrote:
                    > Thank you for showing us your sarcasm.
                    > You are SOOO clever that I surrender.

                    I think you miss my point, rather thoroughly.

                    You have your list of hanger's on that you want removed,
                    you seem thoroughly bothered by the leadership of barbershop
                    and want them replaced... you seem to offer a stream of
                    negativity and unpleasant comparisons.

                    But: you have also studied these matters a great deal.

                    I'd like to see you offer your advice in a more practical
                    manner, and in two ways.

                    1. I presume you have applied it locally, in your chapter
                    and in your district. I think we'd benefit from
                    knowing more about your successes.

                    2. I haven't studied the topic nearly as much as you, but we
                    both know that the best way to modify the behaviors of
                    others is through positive reinforcement. I think we'd
                    benefit if you offered your experience by using your
                    own expertise to improve your message delivery.

                    As I've said, I've read a lot of your material, and it
                    is fascinating. So I'd like learn more about how
                    it is applied in your chapter, and by watching you apply
                    it here on this list.

                    This is an attempt at constructive engagement. Although I
                    don't have your academic background in the matter, I'm trying
                    to do my best, with humor and with conversation.

                    Mark Schuldenfrei
                  • Mark Schuldenfrei
                    ... This is a bit of a rambling paragraph, Stephen. And it s full of negativity: you say people don t invite, they don t retain new members, even the good
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 31 8:45 AM
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                      On 3/31/2013 9:59 AM, Stephen Rafe wrote:
                      > Point One -- I wrote that with empathy. The truth is we have not ever known
                      > all the people she mentioned to invite two or three men to join. Most
                      > chapters know that even our "Guest Nights" are not that productive. Even so,
                      > "inviting" is not enrolling new members. Many chapters fall short when they
                      > get new men in the door. Retention is another issue to which my comment
                      > responds. Most of us could do a whole lot better at that. The finest
                      > recruitment campaigns we have received from men like Ev Nau have eventually
                      > faded away. Further, if the tools for retention are available, why aren't we
                      > all using them? I have asked several chapters this question about their own
                      > organizations. The typical answer? "Not enough time." We have a right to
                      > expected our elected and appointed leaders -- and their respective
                      > committees -- to come up with solutions, guide our chapters in implementing
                      > them, and then following through with them to ensure success. My only point
                      > from the start of this entire thread has been this: If our leaders aren't
                      > making a difference, replace them.

                      This is a bit of a rambling paragraph, Stephen. And it's full
                      of negativity: you say people don't invite, they don't retain
                      new members, even the good programs fall away, get rid of leaders....

                      I think what we lack are positive answers. I thought Marti made
                      a very good point - the basics of recruitment, retention and growth
                      are people who come and sing. Get more of them, and you're on
                      your way. It can't be bad.

                      But you replied: "If only that would work." Empathetic or not,
                      it is not constructive. The first step that Joe/Jane Barbershopper
                      can take is to say to people they meet "you might have fun if
                      you sang with us". You can't have growth, without growth. You
                      can't have more people, without more people. Let's have more
                      people.

                      And you keep saying to get rid of people, especially people who
                      have volunteered their time and effort. There is a certain
                      sense of "off with their heads" that I am getting, which I do
                      not understand.

                      In other organizations I've been in (I may have said this before),
                      a friend of mine introduced me to the concept of "the goob". The
                      goob is a good guy (or gal, in that organization). Means well,
                      wants to help, and to fit in.

                      My friend used the phrase "Cherish The Goob", a lot. He meant
                      that with a good and willing person, who wants to help and fit
                      in, you can do a LOT. And, from the ranks of the goob, comes
                      the generation of goobs after that, and from the ranks of the
                      goob comes the leaders of tomorrow.

                      He was a good old boy from Arkansas, and he didn't speak all
                      flowery and smart. (Although, boy: was he SMART!) He said
                      "Cherish The Goob".

                      That's the secret, I'll tell you that for free. He and his
                      friends from Arkansas, in a little town far from everything,
                      turned that local group into a POWERHOUSE of activity. Because
                      they all were goobs, doing the best they could, and encouraging
                      each other.

                      Stephen, you say a lot of "that won't work" and "he's no good"
                      and "fire the lousy leaders" and "get rid of hangers on".

                      But what have you got for "cherishing goobs"? What positives
                      can you give to groups, or leaders, or individuals that make
                      attending chapter meetings and singing more successful?

                      I asked you what worked, because I think we all would benefit
                      from knowing what worked.

                      And: I don't think we benefit a lot from offering an idea and
                      being slapped down with "If only that would work".



                      > Therein lies another topic: Why are so many chapters deficient in
                      > follow-through? And that takes us back to the need for leadership oversight.

                      I suspect (although I cannot be sure) that what we have in barbershop
                      are men and women with lives and careers, who can only offer a
                      limited amount of effort and time.

                      They, too, are goobs, and do the best they can. They have simply
                      volunteered to do more than the average goob.

                      In my eyes, there is NOTHING more precious and worthy of praise
                      and help than a volunteer. As the parable of the stone points out,
                      many say "should" and not enough say "will". Going back to the
                      stone, though, volunteer organizations benefit from a stone-soup
                      mentality.

                      We can't "fire the leaders" and "fire the hanger-son" ad nauseum,
                      thinking that by doing so we're going to continue to keep them
                      as singers and volunteers, and thinking that we're going to get
                      more and better leaders in their place. Usually you have to
                      work with what you have.

                      Again: volunteers are precious and worthy of praise. Sure, they
                      may not be perfection (probably aren't), but one can build a very
                      high functioning organization out of volunteers. The trick is to
                      encourage them or entice them into doing more, or doing better.

                      Negative messages are not as effective in behavior modification
                      as positive ones.

                      And today's mediocre volunteer can be aided and trained into
                      being tomorrow's fantastic volunteer.

                      I'm not a foolish pollyanna, and I'm aware that there can be
                      times and places where organizations (in the small/local or
                      large/national) can get stuck and require some forcefulness
                      to make a change.

                      I think that's rare. I think that it's difficult. I think
                      that force is most effective when someone who is genuinely
                      and frequently positive and a role-model for development says
                      "I'm frustrated". When someone who always is negative says
                      "this time I'm really negative", it's a yawn.

                      Stephen, you obviously care. You obviously send around lots
                      of papers and pamphlets (what was it, 500 plus?) That's good.
                      But you say it isn't working.

                      I think what would work is a more positive, more helpful and
                      a more responsive method, rather than broadsides and negativity
                      and "Off With Their Heads" or "I Have A Little List".

                      Please offer a little more honey, and a little less vinegar.
                      Tell us what worked. Make it palatable and attractive and
                      something people would actually do.

                      Mark Schuldenfrei
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