Monday, January 27, 2014

Webinar: The Angry Birds

Have you ever played Angry Birds on your i-Phone?  If so, you know that it isn't always so easy to win.  There's strategy, precision, using the right bird for the right job.  And a little luck!

This training session (webinar) was actually quite creative using Angry Birds as its model.  It seemed to be a perfect fit between the game and this leadership lesson.

Let me explain.....

Like the Angry Birds, we were taught to make the most of our birds (Lions).  Not all Angry Birds were a good fit for the task at hand (clobbering the pigs).  The point was, use the talents and skills of each of your members to benefit the club.  A good example was one club had an important fundraiser but they weren't quite sure how to promote it.  One member.... their "quiet" member.... the one that always sits in the back of the room and never speaks.... quietly raised his hand and said, "I can do a webpage."  They had no idea he could do this.  From there they had a successful fundraiser which raised $20,000!  Use the talents of your members!  Take the time to know your members and find out what their talents, experiences, and unique backgrounds are.  You can then utilize them in places that will be most beneficial whether on projects, fundraisers or officer positions.  And, just the opposite is true..... you don't want to put a bricklayer with no financial background as your Treasurer without proper training....  Just saying....  So take the time to find out what makes your members tick, what their hobbies are, what their interests are and see how they best fit in your next endeavor.  Lesson One.

Lesson Two talked about how every bird matters.  Some may need mentoring.  Encourage Lions to explore opportunities beyond the Club level to the District or International level.  Encourage them to attend conventions and forums.  They expressed how important mentoring is....  Don't leave any member behind.  No matter what.

Lesson Three was about re-invigorating members.  Members need to be actively involved.  If you have an inactive member, communicate with them!  Ask them what's holding them back whether it's moving up in the club or moving forward on a project.

Lesson Four:  The importance of leverage.  In other words, don't waste your time on a project that isn't in alignment with your club's objectives or that doesn't contribute to the purpose of the organization.  Ask yourself, "is this the best use of our time and funds?"  Leverage your time and energy towards your goals. It's also okay to drop an activity if it's taking up too much time or not worth the effort.  Leverage.

Lesson Five talked about how the Angry Birds needed precision to topple some of the structures.  Reaching goals don't just happen.  Successful fundraisers or events don't just happen.  You have to MAKE them happen.  You can't just start and hope for the best just like you can't just "launch" the birds.  You have to use precision to make your mark.  You need foresight and intelligent planning for the best results.

Lesson Six was either try again or quit.  It really is THAT simple.  The only alternative to quitting is trying again.  Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  When recapping an event always counter a negative remark with a positive remark.  Always.

Lesson Seven talked about how there is more than one way to succeed.  However, the path to success can vary.... each member is different with different ideas and each club is different.  Trying new ideas can be risky.  As a leader, do you welcome new ideas?  Do you create a non-judgmental environment that accepts good ideas from everyone, even if not in agreement?  Brainstorm with your team...  Plan new projects carefully....  Assign tasks within zone of competency.... and listen to member's ideas!

Lesson Eight talked about the inevitable brick wall.  Yep, we've all hit them!  But sometimes it's from fear of change that is stopping us.  Your team can create a new vision by scouting for solutions, communicating the vision to all, and give everyone a task to reach the goal.

Lesson Nine:  The importance of Squawking.  Yes, squawking.  It's okay to squawk!  Or in the case of Lions, to communicate.  When working on a project, specify the desired results.  Set guidelines (policies, procedures, ethical guidelines in which players need to act within).  We talked about leaders in this section and referenced renown Stephen Covey on how to communicate.  A natural leader has a conviction about him/her and their dreams.  They lead by example.  They push beyond the limit; that's how we grow.

And, finally, Lesson Ten:  New Levels and New Challenges.  When playing the Angry Birds, you had to successfully complete one level before moving on to the next challenge.  Such is life.  Are YOU engaged in opportunities to help you grow?  If not, let me suggest the following:  The Learning Center at LCI; Webinars; Conventions and forums, and this blog!  There are so many opportunities to grow within the Lions organization.  And let me say that attending the on-line Webinars can be a problem for some people who work, BUT, you can always go on-line and listen to the course after the fact as they record all of them.  So what's it going to be?  

As a leader you must model the way....  Find ways to communicate with ALL your members...  Don't second guess your members; they may WANT a new project.  Don't be afraid to fail.  Give silent members permission to speak.  And remember, we're strong because of our diversity!

Now, go play Angry Birds!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Social

If you were planning a social event, your list might look something like this:

Food:  check
Drinks:   check
Members Invited:  check
Induct New Member:  check
Invite Potential New Members:  check

Yes, these are the key elements to a successful social event!  
Food, music, a little something to drink....
Good friends, new friends.

Lion Neil A. and his wife, Cari, hosted last night's social.  It had everything you needed, PLUS their dog, Maggie!  (Who doesn't love a well-behaved dog?!)

The theme was Mexican and Cari went all out with tacos, homemade salsa, and side dishes.  
Hmmmm, this shouldn't be TOO hot....!
Lion Mike had hair before tasting this hot HOT sauce!
We had several guests that are considering joining our Club.  

This is Nolan and Donna.  Nolan helps out at Light Flights each year so he's had a little taste of what we do.  Donna made her debut at Light Flights this year  and helped with the Safety Check speel.   

Sonny and John were also guests.  We met them AT Light Flights while they were standing in line waiting for their turn and they expressed an interest in learning about our club.  So here they are!  We hope last night was just what they were looking for and we can bring them into the club as well.  

Lion President Mike A., Lions Neil and Marilyn enjoying fellowship and food.

Lion Tommy and guest Sonny getting to know each other.

As with any good party, there was plenty of food!  And the chatter quieted considerably as everyone enjoyed their meal.

Lion Joe, also making friends with guest Sonny.

Well, this just looks like double trouble here.... Lion President Mike A. and new Lion Soapy.

Jill (Lion Soapy's wife) is our unofficial photographer!  Maybe one day she'll become our official photographer!  John, our guest, is getting to know everyone.

Eating, drinking, and visiting wasn't the only thing on our agenda.  It was our night to give new Lion Soapy a hard time....  But by the looks of this, it might be Lion Soapy giving the hard time!  

Eventually the induction took place and Lion Mike presented Lion Soapy with his membership pin.  It was put on upside down and Lion Soapy was told he could turn it right side AFTER he did a good deed for someone.  

So he offered to take the trash out for Cari and of course she took him up his offer!  Our guest, John, offered to take out the trash next month--get a "one up" for when he becomes a member!  

Lion Neil welcomed him aboard, and the rest is now history.

It was a great evening, a fun evening.  We met new friends.  We inducted a new member.  And possibly got four new members out of the evening.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Newest Member

Please welcome our newest Lion member, Soapy Lingle!

Originally from Oregon, Soapy moved to Juneau in 1970 to be near his great uncle Stan Price.  Some of you might know of Stan.... he lived with the bears at Pack Creek on Admiralty Island.

Soapy is an avid hunter, fisherman, and photographer.  He has two adult children (Tracy and Bucky) and three of the most adorable grandchildren ever (Hunter, Ellis, and Avery) who he babysits on Fridays along with his wife, Jill.
Shhhhhh, don't tell grandma!  
Soapy and Jill love to travel and no matter where they go or what they do, they have an adventure.

When you have an opportunity to visit with him, ask him about his most successful hunting trip or about the cabin he's building on Shelter Island or ask for his famous baked halibut recipe!

In his spare time, Soapy is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker/Race Realty.

Lion Soapy brings many positive attributes to our Club and we look forward to good things from him.

Please help us make Lion Soapy feel welcome and a part of the Lion family!  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Effective Club Meetings

We have effective club meetings because:
  1. We have an agenda.
  2. We keep meetings short.
  3. We give appropriate recognition at each meeting.
  4. We keep discussions to a minimum.
  5. We don't allow everyone to speak in order to keep on schedule.  
Okay, some are trick questions, but some are not.  

LCI (Lions Club International) had a recent Webinar (on-line training) on Effective Club Meetings.  It took about 45 minutes out of our day and was well worth it.  We sat our granddaughter in front of Dora the Explorer and took the time to attend.  (It isn't going to kill her to watch TV for 45 minutes!)  There's so much value in these Webinars but I don't think members are giving this opportunity due consideration.  If you want to grow in the Club, these Webinars offer you the opportunity to get the knowledge to do that.  

But I digress, which I often do....  

This Webinar was on facilitating a productive meeting.  Now, I suspect this was referencing your regular club meeting, but it could also apply to committee meetings.  Here's what we learned:

Most of this was common knowledge--Make sure your meeting site is appropriate -- size, security, and the ability for the handicap to attend.  Have an agenda based on input from officers, committee members, and members.  Email the agenda prior to the meeting.  Have an attendance sign-in sheet.  Introduction of guests. Provide recognition and an informal "thank you" at each meeting.  

  1. Use Roberts Rules of Order.  This provides consistency in your meetings along with a fairness to all.  It provides everyone the opportunity to speak.
  2. Clearly state a motion or a decision that is to be voted on or approved.
  3. Keep discussion on topic.  If discussion sways, bring it back on track.  Give everyone a chance to speak.
  4. If time is not adequate, table anything that can be handled at another time.  
  5. Allow all points of view to be expressed, but keep the discussion focused on the agenda item.  
Why use board meetings for business decisions?  Having separate board meetings was recommended :  (1) Decision making will be made by those interested; (2) more efficient discussion in a smaller group; (3) easier to manage and vote in a smaller meeting; (4) shortens business reports at the regular meeting.  A con by having separate board meetings is that a few members are making the decisions.  You decide.  

Facilitation skills:  
  • Active listening:  While a member is talking, paraphrase to yourself questions you might ask; or ask a question when he/she is done to clarify.
  • Encourage participation by the group especially by the "silent ones."  It was suggested that the President turn a portion of the meeting over to the silent ones.  Give them a topic to discuss at the next meeting.  It was also suggested that an activity prior to the meeting would get everyone comfortable with each other and that might open them up.  
  • Tact and diplomacy:  How do you get a member back on track?  Ring the bell.  Ask them to cooperate and help you keep the meeting on schedule.  
  • Manage participant behavior:  You need their cooperation to have an efficient and effective meeting.  Ask for their help.  For the "over eager participant" give them time to say what's on their mind but be sure others get a chance to speak as well.  For the "monopolizer" same thing.  Ask the "silent" member for their opinion on a topic.  Side conversations need to be addressed and stopped.  They are a waste of time.  Ask for their cooperation in keeping on tract.  
Ask yourself:
  1. Did the meeting go as you expected?
  2. How could you have improved your management of the meeting?  
  3. Did you have good member attendance?  What do you do to encourage attendance?
  4. Did you start and end the meeting on time?
  5. Did you cover all items on the agenda?
  6. Were guests and potential members introduced and greeted warmly?  Make them feel that this is where they need to be.  
  7. Did most of the club members participate in the meeting?  Were all questions answered?
  8. Was discussion and decisions that were made understood by all members?
Do this self-evaluation as soon after the meeting as you can so it's still fresh in your mind.  Make a list for the next meeting of items to follow up on and who's going to do it.  

What follow up will be required for the next meeting?  
  1. Was there a proposed new idea or project that requires more information?  If so, where can you find that information, who's going to research, who will report back to the club?
  2. Did a committee not complete their report on time?  When committees don't come prepared to give a report, how can you be sure they're ready at the next meeting?  After several postponements, the report tends to die....
  3. Provide members with a list of dates to remember.
  4. Publish minutes in a monthly newsletter.  
  5. Email minutes soon after the meeting while they're fresh in everyone's mind and so they know what they've been assigned to do or volunteered to do.  
If you don't follow up:
  1. Items tend to get forgotten.
  2. Members are not kept in the loop.
  3. Projects don't get completed.
  4. If you have to carry items over to the next meeting or cover things that didn't get covered, your next meeting may run over its allotted time.
  5. Decisions will get postponed repeatedly.
  6. Guests will become skeptical that your club will ever take action to support their program.
  7. New ideas never get discussed or adopted.  
It was suggested that you use a Meeting Follow-Up Worksheet that includes columns for the following:  Project name, Action Required, Person(s) Responsible, Date Required, and a column to show that you contacted them for follow up.  

There are several resources available on LCI that will help us have effective meetings.  
  1. How Are Your Ratings (ME 15, ME 15b):   This is a good tool to hand out to your members and get their feedback.  They must not feel threatened by giving honest answers.  Include members not in attendance.  
  2. Club Excellence Process:  This interactive process will show where your club is today and where you want it to be tomorrow.  
  3. Member Satisfaction Guide (ME 301):  Not all members leave the club for the same reason.  Find out how you can improve. 
Why is managing effective meetings important?
  • Keeps members involved, engaged, having fun.
  • You want members to keep coming back.
  • Accomplishes objectives.
  • It gets everyone involved in doing what they feel is important.  Find out their interests and expertise.  
  • Unproductive meetings are frustrating and a waste of time.  
But the bottom line is.... was it an effective meeting?  At the end of the meeting, ask yourself, "what would I have missed if I hadn't come?"  Good advice!  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Top Five Reasons for Not Asking

Who knows what District Governor Lewis's motto is?


We're talking about recruiting new members; asking your family and friends to join you.

But it isn't that simple is it?  

Top Five Reasons You Don't Invite Others To Become Lions

#5:  You don't have any friends to ask....  
#4:  You don't have time....
#3:  You decide that your friends wouldn't be interested.....
#2:  You figure someone else has probably already asked them.....
#1:  You worry about being told "no."   

Yes, asking someone to join you in Serving others, is scary....  It doesn't matter if it's a friend, family, co-worker or acquaintance.  What if they say "no"?  What IF they say "no"....  so what?  It isn't going to de-value anything you're doing in the club, is it?  It doesn't mean you made a bad choice.

All it means is they just aren't ready.

Yes, asking is scary.  But so easy!  Just ask!  It's that simple.  Don't pre-judge.... don't decide for them based on your assumption that they wouldn't be interested or have time or that someone else has already asked them or that they're already too busy.  It isn't fair to them, to Juneau, or to the club.  It's possible that they're wondering why you've never asked them to join before! 

And what if someone has previously asked them to join?  That was then and this is now.  Maybe their circumstances have changed.... maybe they now have time to volunteer.  Maybe they didn't care for the other person. Maybe something has happened in their lives that gives them a connection to the Lions.  Maybe they've just realized the value in volunteering. Or maybe they just want to Serve by your side.  

I have found that it's actually easy to ask.  "Would you like some information on our club?"  You're either going to get a "yes" or a "no."  If you get a "no," it won't be the end of the world.  Don't take it personal.  Take them off your list for the time being, but don't be afraid to ask again at some point in the future.  

Next time you're hanging out with your friends, just ask them, "are you interested in learning more about the Lions and what we do?"  And go from there.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ten Year Anniversary

Today we're celebrating Lion Bob Hurley's 10 years as a Lion!  Not being a Lion for very long, some times I don't know all there is to know about a certain person or subject in order to report adequately.... in which case I apologize before hand.
But here's what I know about Lion Bob:  He's been dedicated to the task at hand.  He held the Treasurer's position for several years, maybe too many if you ask him...maybe not.  But from what I know, he did a super job.  

Lion Bob has participated in many service activities and fundraisers over the years.  He's there when you need him--at litter pick up, 4th of July concession stand, barbeque and auction, Night Flights, bell ringing for Salvation Army, and most others.

Lion Bob, thank you for your steady service and your commitment to not only the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club, but to the Juneau community! We appreciate all that you have done and continue to do!  Here's to another 10 years!