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

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  • 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 1 of 15 , Mar 30, 2013
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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 2 of 15 , Mar 30, 2013
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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 3 of 15 , Mar 31, 2013
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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 4 of 15 , Mar 31, 2013
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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 5 of 15 , Mar 31, 2013
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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 6 of 15 , Mar 31, 2013
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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 7 of 15 , Mar 31, 2013
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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 8 of 15 , Mar 31, 2013
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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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