A PRIMER ON CHAPTER
by Bill Hanna, EAA Chapter Advisory Council
Many EAA Chapters
own a hangar or clubhouse that serves as a home-base for the Chapter
and it's activities. For others this is only a dream; member's homes
or other borrowed facilities are used to support the Chapter meetings
and programs. Acquiring a Chapter facility can be a daunting task, but
it has been accomplished many times. The following thoughts and considerations
are intended to help a Chapter plan to make that dream become a reality.
WHY BUILD A HANGAR?
Not every EAA Chapter
needs a hangar. Depending on the kind of activities a Chapter engages
in, the locale it serves, the size of its membership and other factors
unique to a Chapter. Owning a building may not be in the Chapter's best
interest. The Chapter's mission statements and objectives need to be
reviewed thoughtfully to assure that owning a building will be compatible
with the Chapter's long-term direction, and it can be designed to support
that direction effectively.
This helps validate
the need for a Chapter facility and establish some of the basic criteria
for its design. It is important to keep this assessment in the proper
perspective. A vision to "own a Chapter hangar" is not properly
framed. A better question is "how would owning a hangar help meet
our vision?" Most Chapters will benefit greatly by owning their
The need for a building
and its general design concepts should support the sum of a Chapter's
unique vision and mission. The better this is understood at the beginning
of the project, the better the final building will serve the needs of
the Chapter when it's completed. What will the building be used for?
For a Chapter that is populated with many active pilots with many aircraft,
aircraft storage and provisions for flight planning should drive the
building plan. Other Chapters are focused on aircraft construction and
their facility may want to be tailored more around the concepts of a
workshop. If providing aviation education dominates a Chapter's activities,
classroom features will want to be reflected in its facility.
Will the Chapter
also sponsor fly-ins and other activities that bring in the public?
Most Chapters are an amalgam of all of the above activities as well
as engaging in social and family activities. The functional design of
its building must support the unique mix of activities of the Chapter.
Keep the future
in mind; a Chapter's vision and mission will change over time. If a
facility is tailored too specifically for near-term requirements, it
may become unsuitable in the future. A Chapter will also discover that
owning a building enables new activities it had not engaged in previously.
A degree of flexibility should be planned for.
and conceptual planning stage is crucial. A Chapter may find it useful
to appoint a Planning Committee to work through this assessment phase.
The Committee's key deliverable to the Chapter membership would be a
report that answers the questions: why does the Chapter need a building,
what will it be used for and how will it enhance the accomplishment
of the Chapter's vision and mission? These answers and buy-in by the
Chapter membership provide a sound basis to begin the detailed planning
for the project.
WHAT SHOULD IT
Once the need and
will of the Chapter exists to own a building, a Building Committee should
be appointed. This establishes a process and responsibility to translate
the Chapter's building needs into specific plans and specifications.
The Committee should also be charged with the overall administration
of the project through its completion - a very important group.
This phase is a
lot of fun and the committee should make certain that several alternatives
are developed. Give the process sufficient time for ideas to be stimulated:
good ideas cannot be scheduled and frequently are the product of bad
ideas. Share the alternatives with the Chapter membership.
This is guaranteed
to generate MUCH discussion, but all the brains of the Chapter should
be tapped. The job of the Building Committee is to collect input and
synthesize it into a final proposal. Most often, the final plan will
end up as a hybrid derived from the features of several different plans.
How the building
is to be configured depends on the set of uses the planning process
defined. Storage of aircraft can be accomplished several ways. The classic
T-hangar is fairly space efficient and provides direct access to any
aircraft. Modular, commercial buildings are available for this type
of hangar - most aviation-related magazines carry advertisements. A
T-hangar does require a long site configuration and lots of doors, and
doors are expensive. A more rectangular layout with a common aircraft
storage area provides more flexibility for other activities (meetings,
banquets, hangar dances, etc.) and typically can be serviced with just
one large door (also expensive - there's no such thing as a cheap door).
This arrangement frequently requires moving several aircraft, as the
one ready to fly will invariably be parked in back. The trade-off here
is between the convenience of aircraft access and the flexibility to
use the space for other purposes.
Workshop areas need
different considerations than a hangar. Plenty of lighting and electrical
outlets are essential. Wall space is always at a premium for benches
and storage, so pay close attention to door and window placement. Check
local codes and ordinances regarding the storage of flammable and hazardous
materials. Special provisions may be required if painting is to be permitted
in the shop, and think through carefully that all aspects of ventilation
and control of over-spray. A paint booth deals with these problems very
well, but is hardly worth the space and expense for the level of utilization
it would likely receive. Most shops will require a heating system, air
circulation, dust control and the presence of flammable fumes needs
to be considered.
As kit aircraft
have become more popular, the space required to construct an aircraft
has grown. Many kit components are large, bulky and require protected
storage areas. A loft can prove very useful for storing components prior
to final assembly. Access around aircraft under construction should
be planned carefully. A fuselage or wing in a jig is not portable and
may need to stay in one place for YEARS.
A separate meeting
room is generally included in most Chapter buildings. Shop areas serve
poorly as a general meeting space. Hangars can double as a meeting area,
but aircraft have to be moved to accommodate every meeting, the acoustics
are generally poor and heating provisions for winter months may not
be practical. Serious consideration should be given to kitchen facilities
for the meeting area. The capability to store and prepare food can enhance
any Chapter meeting and may enable the Chapter to sponsor other meetings
and activities (potential fund-raisers). Bathroom facilities will be
defined, in part, by building codes. If the Chapter plans to sponsor
fly-ins and other public events, do not underestimate the importance
of kitchen and bathroom facilities.
The site plan for
a Chapter building is every bit as important as the building interior.
Where will people park for meetings? There must be ample, clear area
for aircraft movements. EAA Chapters make very poor airport tenants
if their facility does not look attractive and integrates with the general
flow of airport operations.
Most of this planning
can be accomplished with simple sketches. However, once a final concept
is defined, most building authorities will require that a professionally
developed set of architectural drawings be prepared for the issuance
of a building permit.
This step adds much
value since the architect will translate the proposal sketches into
a formal plan that reflects good building design practices, and assures
the appropriate specifications to meet applicable building codes are
included. Usually a property survey will also be required to establish
the basis for a deed or property lease and to finalize the plot plan.
These drawings also allow consistent quotes to be obtained if the job
is going to be done by contractors. Make the final plans set available
for Chapter members to review and critique. It's better to discover
a missing detail on paper than after the project is done. Reviewing
the plans will also put the membership's enthusiasm for the project
Some Chapters have
the good fortune to find a suitable building that can be purchased (or
donated to the Chapter). Do not overlook the opportunities that an existing
building may offer. If the building meets the basic needs of the Chapter,
much administrative work for the acquisition of land, site planning
and utilities is bypassed. If the building is serviceable, the Chapter
will begin to enjoy the benefits of owning a facility immediately (construction
projects take a long time to complete). This route is entirely dependent
on what kind of buildings is available to the Chapter and their specific
An existing building
does not necessarily represent a low cost solution. If major renovation
work is required, the cost to meet current codes, replace worn-out mechanical
and electrical systems, maybe remove asbestos insulation and generally
improve the building can approach the cost of new construction, and
it may be harder to do the work. Before committing to use an existing
building, the Chapter should assure that a complete assessment of ALL
the work involved has been done. Check with local building authorities
and get quotes from contractors if necessary. This is a very practical
route to acquiring a Chapter building, just try to avoid the bigger
surprises that might occur.
WHO WILL DO THE
A major factor in
the final cost for a facility is the amount of volunteer expertise and
labor within the Chapter membership. Many Chapter members will have
basic carpentry skills. There may also be members that are capable of
doing electrical or mechanical work as well. An architect or contractor
may also be in the membership. It's important to assess the skills available
within the Chapter membership and their willingness to work on the project.
Use of volunteer labor from the Chapter membership can defray much of
the project cost.
There is a downside
to the use of Chapter resources. Some phases of a construction project
need to follow a fairly disciplined schedule: volunteers are not always
available when needed regardless of how willing they may be. Use of
volunteer labor should also be understood in the context of local ordinances
and building codes. Some work must be performed, or supervised by a
licensed contractor in order to pass inspection by the local building
authority. A combination of a professional contractor(s) responsible
for specialized work elements and Chapter volunteers performing less
critical tasks may be the most practical approach.
There is much work
involved in a construction project and it can extend over a considerable
time period. Another potentially negative consideration regarding Chapter
volunteer labor is the risk of burnout. The pressure to keep the project
moving, get things done and make sure everything is right can impact
some conscientious volunteers worse than a regular job. No project is
worth losing members - we all joined the EAA for fun and the sport of
aviation, not to build buildings. Don't overdo or exploit your willing
The Building Committee
should perform a thorough assessment of the internal resources of the
Chapter membership and develop a project work plan that takes advantage
of the expertise and abilities available. Work parties that are well
organized can accomplish much of the work involved and also be fun.
No organized work schedule, no materials on hand, no supervision or
direction all lead to disgruntled volunteers and a project that is at
Regardless of whether
the Chapter is doing much of the work itself or hires a general contractor,
a Project Manager should be appointed. This person should be responsible
to the Building Committee (preferably a member). The Project Manager
has day-to-day responsibility for overseeing the project and should
be the single-point contact for all interfaces with contractors, inspectors,
etc. He should have authority to make detail decisions about the project
and be able to make payments. This is not a weekend and evening job.
The person appointed should have a degree of personal schedule flexibility
and some experience with building projects - anyone who has had a house
built is a good candidate.
We think of building
and registering amateur-built aircraft as a process burdened with paperwork
and bureaucracy. It is simple compared to constructing a building. When
a general contractor is used for the project, the contractor handles
the many permits and inspections, and the process is transparent to
the Chapter. If a Chapter assumes responsibility for managing the construction,
several reviews, permits and inspections must be obtained. Given the
complexities of building codes and local ordinances, this can be a complex
and sometimes frustrating task.
Most airports fall
under the jurisdiction of some governing body or association. They are
the first to be consulted and approve the project plans. The plans must
also be submitted to the local building authority for approval prior
to the issuance of a building permit. During construction several inspections
will be required.
- Foundation or footings
- Primary electrical service
(breaker box and connection to the electrical utility)
- Well and septic system (if
- Rough electrical system
(before the wiring is enclosed)
- Finished electrical system
- Heating system
- Final building inspection
(usually the last inspection and required before the building can
Depending on the
location and specific features of the building, more or less actual
inspection may be necessary. However, the inspection process must be
coordinated with overall construction activities to keep the project
In addition to the
construction documentation process, a deed or property lease must be
secured and the Chapter-owned facility needs to be properly entered
on the tax roles. Generally, as a non-profit corporation, the Chapter
should not have to pay property taxes. This may not happen automatically,
however. The Chapter may have to appeal to the local tax assessors'
office to establish the tax exemption - not a simple task.
As the project progresses,
insurance should be secured. The value of the asset will increase quickly
and should be protected. The EAA Chapter insurance is liability insurance
for Chapter activities - it does not cover the physical structure and
HOW TO PAY FOR
Clearly, the financial
assets of the Chapter going into a building project are a major determining
factor to proceed. Unless the Chapter has accumulated a significant
portion of the money necessary to fund the project, it probably should
not proceed. Several options are available to the Chapter to fully fund
A mortgage can be
obtained from conventional financial institutions. The size of the mortgage
required, amount of Chapter assets to secure the mortgage, stability
of the Chapter and it's potential ability to pay of the mortgage are
all factors - just like a personal mortgage on your home. Committing
to a long-term financial obligation for the Chapter should not be made
without full consultation of the entire Chapter membership.
The Chapter should
not overlook the potential of a financial arrangement with the local
airport authority or FBO. Given all the positive aspects of an EAA facility
on the airport, they may be willing to underwrite the project or even
build the facility and lease it to the Chapter.
Many Chapter members
may be willing to make loans to the Chapter to fund the project. These
loans may be interest-free or at a lower rate than a commercial loan.
This approach can provide significant savings to the Chapter. A pledging
campaign will determine how much funding can be secured this way. All
member loans to the Chapter should be covered with a written agreement
that defines the loan amount, any interest due and the repayment plan.
Care should be exercised to not allow member loans to be too large and
too long term. If the Chapter owes an individual member a large sum
of money or the loan extends over too many years, problems can arise.
Donations are another
source of money to cover the project. This is especially true if the
Chapter has a 501(c) 3-tax status. In this case the donation is tax-deductible
and can be very favorable for the donor. This is an especially fruitful
area to explore if contractors, building supply stores and other business
can be found who are aviation-minded individuals. An amazing amount
of materials and services can be obtained in this manner. Just be certain
to acknowledge the donors and maybe throw a "hangar-warming"
party on their behalf when the project is done. A few airplane rides
will reward a lot of generosity and maybe even net some more members.
WHEN IT'S DONE?
Owning a building
will yield many benefits to the Chapter. The Chapter will have a "home"
that helps contribute to its identity - both internally and to the external
world as well. The Chapter will find it can support many more activities
and programs when it has a permanent facility and equipment. More members
are likely to join the Chapter as a result - further expanding its capabilities.
A Chapter building is a key enabler toward meeting many of the Chapter's
goals and overall mission. However, ownership also creates some new
obligations and issues for the Chapter to manage.
If the facility
includes a hangar or shop area, tenants have probably been eagerly waiting
to move in. To avoid potential conflict, hard feelings, or worse, the
Chapter's leadership should establish policy regarding use of the facility.
The policy should outline the protocol for occupancy (e.g., waiting
list) and general rules for use of the facility. Every tenant, whether
they are storing an airplane or leasing shop space, should sign a lease
agreement. The agreement will spell out explicitly the obligations of
both the tenant and the Chapter. This is critical protection for both
parties and can forestall many problems. It is an area where the Chapter
may wish to engage a lawyer to draft the policy and lease agreements.
Owning a building
creates on-going expenses for the Chapter: insurance, maintenance and
utilities. Leasing hangar or shop space is an important source of revenue
to offset these expenses. Establishing a fair rate schedule for the
leases requires some careful analysis. An EAA Chapter is NOT a business.
Traditional business concepts of return-on-investment do not apply for
the Chapter's investment in it's building. Depending on the building
revenues to pay off the mortgage or loans that covered its construction
may be in conflict with the Chapter objectives that motivated its construction.
A different approach should be used to determine how much to charge.
Leasing hangar or
shop space is a service to the members. If the rates are too high, it
becomes exploitative and they probably will go elsewhere. Use of the
Chapter facility should be a benefit to the members- not a premium.
On the other hand, lease rates that are too low and do not help defray
the overall expenses of the facility, result in the membership at large
subsidizing the tenants. It should also be recognized that the building
does provide a benefit to all members and some portion of the on-going
building expense is a legitimate charge to the Chapter's general budget.
Obviously the middle ground must be found. A lease rate at which the
Chapter looses money in times of low occupancy and makes money when
all space is utilized probably is the best "business" arrangement.
On the average, if the building revenues cover the on-going Chapter
expenses: this is probably the optimum state.
must be maintained - both to protect the Chapter's assets and cover
the risks. Again, the EAA Chapter insurance covers the liability associated
with Chapter activities, and if a Chapter owns a building the rates
are higher since the Chapter will inherently have more activities. Fire
and casualty insurance must be secured independently. Chapter. Hangarkeeper's
insurance is also available that provides coverage specific to the storage
Who will mow the
grass and fix the leaky faucet? Spontaneous volunteers will handle many
of the maintenance chores, but a process that identifies work that needs
to be done is helpful. Some Chapters appoint a Building Manager to monitor
maintenance requirements, keep a "things to do" lists posted,
and arrange for work to get done that is outside the scope of Chapter
volunteers. The EAA has a long-standing reputation for sponsoring activities
that are noted for their cleanliness. Our EAA facilities need to reflect
that same ethic with good maintenance and grounds keeping. Plan for
The Chapter's by-laws
should be carefully reviewed with respect to the dissolution of the
Chapter. In the unlikely event the Chapter is terminated, the by-laws
should reflect how the Chapter's assets would be disposed of. A Chapter's
facility can easily exceed $100,000 in value, clearly a potential problem
if it's disposition is not clearly defined.
Is building and
owning a Chapter building a major undertaking? Absolutely, but, many
Chapters have flown the course and benefited greatly. It takes lots
of up-front planning, an organized approach, good understanding of the
Chapter's resources and the will to stay with the project. However,
once the building is in place, the Chapter's growth, maturity and capabilities
to do things will be enhanced in ways never envisioned. If a Chapter
building is consistent with the vision and mission of your Chapter,
keep after the dream until it can become a reality - it's worth it!
EAA Chapter 55
Chapter Facilities and Equipment
The hangar, tools,
equipment and other properties owned by EAA Chapter 55, Inc., are for
the benefit of all Chapter members. The following policy is established
to provide procedures and protocol for their utilization.
- Only members in good standing
of Chapter 55, Inc. may utilize the hangar facilities and Chapter
properties. All Chapter dues and fees must be paid in full to qualify.
- Space will be leased according
to waiting lists for the two hangar areas.
General Aircraft Storage: this waiting list reserves requests on
a first-come, first-serve basis for the storage of aircraft in the
general hangar area.
Aircraft Construction Projects: this waiting list reserves requests
on a first-come, first-serve basis for work space to build or restore
aircraft in the shop area (annex).
Each waiting list will include the member's name and date of request.
Only aircraft related activities are permitted; storage, construction
or restoration. No commercial activity is permitted.
- Allocation of shop and hangar
space will be at the discretion of the Chapter 55 Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors will determine the spaces available for lease.
When hangar or shop space is determined to be available, the Board
of Directors will notify the member with the earliest date on the
appropriate waiting list. The member will have thirty (30) days
to initiate a lease for the space offered.
If a member declines when hangar or shop space is available, their
name will be transferred to the bottom of the appropriate waiting
list or deleted if the member no longer requires the space.
The Board of Directors is authorized to limit the size of aircraft
or projects to assure compatibility with other tenants of the hangar
Shop space is preferred for active projects. If a project is not
being worked on regularly, the Board of Directors will have the
authority to request its removal or relocation to general storage
if other members are on the waiting list.
- All leases are on a monthly
basis, payable on the first day of the month. Lessee may terminate
their lease at any time by removing their aircraft or project. Rent
will be payable for the full month in which the removal is made.
Only aircraft or projects owned by the lessee may occupy the rented
The lessee may not sub-let the rented space to any other person.
- Temporary (up to 14 days)
aircraft storage within the hangar will be permitted by prior approval
of the Board of Directors.
- Storage of completed aircraft
in the shop areas will be permitted by approval of the Board of
Directors, but only under the condition that no aircraft construction
project is deferred or hampered in any way.
- All tenants shall sign a
Hangar or Shop License.
- The Board of Directors is
responsible for establishing and maintaining a schedule of fees
for the leasing of hangar or shop space.
- All Chapter members shall
have free access to Chapter owned tools and equipment and may use
the shop or hangar space for minor personal projects. These activities
must not interfere in any way with projects using the shop or aircraft
stored in the hangar on a leased basis and shall be of not more
than 14 days duration.
- Storage of personal property
of Chapter members in the facility, other than aircraft or construction
projects, will be permitted only by prior approval of the Board
of Directors and based on an established fee.
- Use of the Chapter meeting
room by Chapter members for meetings and activities is encouraged.
Usage should be coordinated with the Chapter president to avoid
scheduling conflicts. The room must be clean and set-up after such
usage and any major supplies utilized shall be replaced.
- Repair of damage to Chapter
owned tools, equipment or the building is the responsibility of
Facilities Contact List
The list below includes
contacts of Chapter Leaders who have successfully
helped their Chapter's acquire a Chapter facility. Please use
this list to gather more information
about Chapter facilities.
EAA Chapter 50
EAA Chapter 512
EAA Chapter 690
LEADERSHIP ... one step at a time
By Bill Hanna
The success of
any organization depends on many factors, but the most critical element
will always be the caliber of its leadership. In business and industry,
leaders are carefully selected, trained and developed -- a long-term
process. In a Chapter, the selection process for leaders is less rigorous.
Frequently, willingness to serve is more of a factor than perceived
or proven leadership experience and skills. However, good leadership
is just as essential for a Chapter as any other organization. While
many Chapters are fortunate to have experienced, professional people
serving in leadership positions, others will be led by persons with
good intentions, but only informal leadership experience and training.
This paper is offered for Chapter Leaders in the latter position that
are seeking information about how to improve their effectiveness.
There are several different meanings for the term leadership:
- To be the first
- To be the best
- To get things done through other people
This discussion is about the latter aspect of leadership where success
is achieved through followers. In this case, leadership is all about
Leadership can be studied as a process ² a series of sequential steps
or activities that cause a desired result.
These elements are inter-related and truly function as a process ² each
provides outputs that support the next step. While many different styles
of leadership are found, all effective leaders apply the principles
and practices that are found in these five steps. By understanding the
basic principles involved in each area, the Chapter Leader will be able
to apply his efforts more effectively and accomplish more with less
effort. The following discussion will examine each step of this process.
People always need a reason or purpose to support their efforts. These
reasons can be very pragmatic (food and shelter) or very noble (love
of country), but they are the forces that drive people to act. Strong
motivation drives strong action; weak motivation yields little action.
Motivating Chapter Members to work toward Chapter goals is an essential
responsibility of a Chapter Leader and is reflected through several
leadership traits and actions:
The effective Chapter Leader recognizes they do not have all the
answers. Most people will only share their ideas when they think they
will be listened to. Effective Chapter Leaders demonstrate a willingness
to listen. When people see their ideas reflected in the plans and direction
of the Chapter, the resulting sense of personal ownership strongly reinforces
DEVELOPING A VISION
Effective leaders understand the value of a long-term strategic direction
for their organization. They are capable of setting goals, developing
a broad plan and not becoming mired in details of execution. They have
the ability to point their organization and their people toward a dramatic
A vision or strategic plan is of no value unless it can be communicated
and translated into pragmatic terms the organization can understand
and support. Specific goals and activities that support the Chapter's
Mission will sometimes communicate the strategic intent more clearly
than lofty words and prose. The Chapter Leader must also be able to
articulate how day-to-day tactical actions support the dramatic goals
of the organization. People's willingness to do the mundane is amazing
when they understand how it contributes to a great cause.
Motivation is all about WHAT the Chapter is going to do and the enthusiasm
of the members to get it done.
Well-motivated groups of people will accomplish little unless some means
is provided to organize and direct their efforts. Effective Chapter
Leaders must be able to establish an organizational structure and process
to accomplish work. While a Chapter's By-laws define the officer and
director positions, this does not establish an organization to enable
work to be accomplished. An organizational structure that defines key
responsibilities and functions is necessary to channel the efforts of
the Chapter effectively.
In a business, various departments would logically be established ²
personnel, receiving, shipping, production, etc. ² that provide the
major functional elements of the business. Generally, the key goals
and activities that a Chapter aims to accomplish will provide the basis
for an equivalent functional organization ² Young Eagles, Fly-in, Membership,
Flying Start, etc. When the Chapter Leaders of a Chapter establish this
kind of structure they establish a base from which the efforts of the
membership can be organized and managed. Most Chapter activities do
not change radically from year to year. Once an effective functional
structure is in place, it will likely remain the same for a long time.
This benefits the Chapter in several ways:
Consistency over the years leads to easier transition when the Chapter
Leadership changes ² people change, but the functions remain the same
- Chapter Members will understand the positions and roles
within the Chapter and be more inclined to volunteer
- Defined positions help the growth and development
of Chapter Members
- It will be easier to establish a broad base of
experienced Chapter Members willing to support the Chapter's activities
Establishing a functional organizational structure is the Chapter Leader's
responsibility, but it must be supported by some additional practices
and personal traits to be effective.
Establishing a functional structure is very important, but should
not be over-done. Do not try to define detailed descriptions for each
of the functions ² that is the responsibility of the people delegated
to the functions. The Chapter Leader's job is not to define HOW tasks
are to be done or responsibilities met. Rather, it is to determine WHO
will do them. The effective Chapter Leader's most important job is the
ability to organize PEOPLE. Finding and employing talent is the critical
skill for the Chapter Leader. Leaders should view the functional structure
of their organization as a tool to organize people.
The Members of a Chapter's Board of Directors may assume some of the
positions in the functional organization. This is acceptable when the
interest and skills of the individuals make them the best person for
the job. However, it is more desirable when additional members of the
Chapter can be drafted into the functional roles (e.g., Young Eagles
Coordinator, Fly-In Chairman, Membership Chairman, etc.). This broadens
the base of involved Chapter Members and keeps the senior leadership
team (Board of Directors) free to lead. Assigning members of the Board
general areas of responsibility and having the functional coordinators
report to them is an ideal solution. Do not allow the Board to become
a Ósuper committeeÓ that does all the detailed planning and administration
of the Chapter's activities.
Delegating responsibility also includes the authority to make decisions,
initiate actions and spend money. Some Chapter Leaders are troubled
by this ² it represents a perceived loss of control. The most effective
controls for a leader, however, are well-defined defined goals and well-motivated
people placed in clearly defined positions of responsibility. With the
necessary supporting authority, these people will get the job done.
Leadership is getting things done through other people.
Chapter Leaders need a level of confidence that allows them to admit
a lack of knowledge or expertise and a willingness to depend on the
skills and knowledge of others. They can then delegate effectively and
comfortably allow others to develop a course of action that may differ
from the way they would have approached the task. This builds a strong
sense of ownership for the individuals responsible for the job; it reinforces
their motivation, increases the probability of success and ultimately
supports the Chapter Leader's initial confidence.
Organization is basically about WHO will do the work and assuring they
are supported in their positions.
Eventually, someone has to do work. While Chapter Leaders usually do
more than their share of chores around the Chapter, these are not part
of the Chapter Leadership role. The Chapter Leader that takes on too
many tasks may actually be failing as a leader by depriving the membership
of more important services. The functional organization and delegation
of responsibility puts people in place to conduct the work and business
of the Chapter. The viewpoint for the Chapter Leader should be one of
expectation ² I expect the people of the Chapter to do what they have
volunteered to do. The Chapter Leader's role is now to follow-up and
assure they have the resources and support to get it done. Several key
elements are found in this step of the process:
The membership of a Chapter must see that their leaders are committed
to the goals and efforts of the organization. The Chapter Leader's level
of personal effort is one means of demonstrating commitment, but the
level of support and encouragement given to others as they work is more
important. This engenders commitment on their part as well. The Chapter
Leader needs to be visible and supportive of all the Chapter Members.
For people to meet a leader's expectations, they must have the necessary
resources to get the job done. This element of follow-up is critical.
It may be as simple as assuring sufficient budget to purchase supplies,
it may entail recruiting more people for a team, or it may be training
and coaching. This is one of the real strengths of a good functional
organization structure. Several people will be in key positions to provide
this follow-up and deliver the support needed. Do not leave the willing
workers to their own devices to find the materials and help they need.
The effective Chapter Leader will demonstrate that they hold others
personally accountable for their work and responsibilities. This accountability
is between the Chapter Leader and the individual. The Chapter Leader
always assumes accountability for the organization as a whole -- even
if individuals failed in their assignments. The Chapter Leader says:
Ëyou are accountable to me, I am accountable for the organizationÓ.
Once again, another element of motivation is introduced.
People need occasional encouragement to keep their motivation and
enthusiasm for a job at a high level. This is the Ëpep talkÓ phase of
a leader's role. A Chapter Leader's personality and style will affect
how this is accomplished, but in all cases the words of encouragement,
reminders of how important a person's efforts are, review of progress
toward a goal are necessary to sustain the efforts of an organization
and achieve success. Being wrapped up in chores will take the Chapter
Leader out of circulation and leave many willing workers short of this
attention they need.
An easy way to characterize the follow-up step in the Chapter Leadership
model is to simply remember that a leader is a COACH, not a player.
People need some sense of accomplishment and reward for their efforts.
The effective Chapter Leader will take conscious action to assure this
vital step of the Chapter Leadership process always occurs. A WELL-DONE
is the reward for people's efforts and contributions and, fortunately,
there is never any budget constraint on offering it.
Recognition can be delivered in many forms ² some by the Chapter Leader
and some from the individuals themselves. If a person takes on a task
with a high level of motivation: ËI know this job is important and I
believe in what we are trying to accomplishÓ, then the person will achieve
an internal sense of recognition from the completion of the task. If
a person understands their position in the organization, how their job
contributes to accomplishing its mission and supporting others, again,
internal self-recognition will occur. In each case, while the person
generates internal recognition themselves, an effective Chapter Leader
will have supported this by making sure the original motivation was
in place and the value of the person's role in the organization was
Acknowledging the accomplishments and contributions of others -- frequently
and publicly -- is an essential role for an effective leader. This takes
many forms: direct compliments to the person, recognition in front of
the Chapter Membership, presenting awards, comments in the Newsletter
² all are effective and serve to let people know they are appreciated.
While end-of-year award banquets are an integral part of many Chapter's
calendars and an excellent time for recognition, make sure that the
recognition is first delivered when the accomplishment is fresh ² thank
them first while they're still sweating.
If a team is being recognized, all members of the team should be recognized
equally. Although some Chapter Members of a team may not have contributed,
the recognition must be collective. Otherwise the basis for teamwork
is undermined for the future. Peer recognition and the ËgrapevineÓ will
sort out the true facts of team member's contributions ² or lack of.
Any personal recognition that the Chapter Leader feels is deserved,
in this case, should be handled privately with the individuals.
One unpleasant aspect of recognition is when something goes wrong or
a person does not do their job. These situations are always handled
privately, one-on-one. The objective when dealing with people in this
case is not to reprimand ² that is not an effective option when dealing
with volunteers. Determining what went wrong so corrections can be made
and establishing a positive starting point for going forward is what
needs to be accomplished. Negative situations are never personalized
in public discussion.
Willing workers need a WELL-DONE to remain willing workers.
Most processes include a feedback loop that provides corrective inputs
to the beginning step. The Chapter Leadership model includes this feature
in the form of an assessment step. This is vital for a Chapter's leadership
if they want to learn and grow as individuals, and if the Chapter is
to progress and grow as well.
The most logical time to enter this step is at the end of the Chapter's
business year when new Officers or Directors are elected and the transition
process is beginning. A discussion of progress toward Chapter goals,
what worked, what did not, major successes and any failures will yield
insights about the strengths and weaknesses of the Chapter and it's
Membership. The tone of this exercise should not be allowed to become
defensive. The objectives are to identify the lessons learned from the
past year's experiences and prepare to apply those lessons in the coming
year. The assessment process can serve as an informal SWOT analysis
normally used in the Strategic Planning Process. If a Chapter is struggling
with it's basic direction and goals, the formal SWOT analysis is probably
The assessment step should also be initiated immediately after any major
Chapter activity or event. Discussing what worked and what didn't while
the experiences are still fresh in people's minds will generate the
best data. Liken it to the de-briefing of aircrews following a combat
This step can actually serve as another form of recognition for the
Chapter, as a whole, if it is kept on a positive, objective footing.
When offered as a general overview, this is a good topic the Chapter's
Annual Meeting ² it feeds the Chapter's collective sense of accomplishment
and may provide the stimulus for new or higher goals going forward.
The Chapter Leadership model used in this discussion is a closed loop.
Good recognition of Chapter Members and an inventory of accomplishments
and goals achieved provide a fertile foundation for the motivation step
to be initiated again.
One approach to applying this leadership model is to treat is as an
annual cycle. At the beginning of a Chapter's business year ² when new
Officers or Directors are seated ² the Chapter Leadership will concentrate
on reaffirming the Chapter's Mission, setting Goals and making sure
the Motivation for the Chapter Membership is in place: WHAT are we going
to do. Generally, in a mature Chapter, the Organization step will be
one primarily of delegation, making sure good people have been selected
for the key tasks and responsibilities: WHO is going to do it. Follow-up
will involve the majority of the Chapter Leader's time through the year
as work and activities are implemented. The recognition step will actually
be visited many times during the year as goals are met and people make
contributions, but the Chapter Leaders must always make sure the WELL-DONE
is awarded. An assessment of the Chapter's progress and accomplishments
provides important insight for the Chapter's leaders when they begin
the process over again. WHAT WORKED/WHAT DIDN'T.
There are many different personalities and styles exhibited by good
leaders, but all are aware of and will apply the basic principles discussed
here. It takes continuing effort to apply this process and practice
these principles -- few leaders could ever be credited with mastery
of it all. Many times it will seem easier to take a short cut and avoid
the effort dictated by one or more of the principles -- poor leadership
is always easy. However, every Chapter Leader can grow and become more
effective if he makes a conscious effort to understand and apply these
principles. Then you may find that good leadership can also be easy.
HOW TO INTERPRET
YOUR CHAPTER'S DIRECTION
By Bill Hanna, Chapter Advisory Council
Belonging to an EAA Chapter builds on our common enthusiasm for recreational
aviation and also enables us to do things that would be difficult, if
not impossible, as individual EAA Members. Most EAA Chapters have a
diverse Membership-many different kinds of aviation interests are represented.
Chapter Leaders have a critical responsibility to identify and understand
this spectrum of interests and the unique needs represented within their
Chapter. This interpretation of what the Chapter collectively wants
to do is the first step in effectively leading the Chapter. It will
not happen naturally. If the Chapter Leaders don't make the effort to
understand and meet the needs of the Chapter Membership, the ability
of the group to grow beyond the basic once a month meeting level is
At the Chapter Leadership Workshops for the last couple of years, considerable
training has been provided on how to establish a Mission, Vision, and
Objectives for a Chapter. The private reaction of many Chapter Leaders
to this may be something like: "That all sounds great, but I've got
a Chapter to run and don't have time for that vision stuff!" The life
of a Chapter Leader seems to be a continuum of tactical problems: "What
kind of program can we set up for next month's meeting," or, "How will
I ever get enough volunteers for the next fly-in?" Where is the time-or
interest-within the Chapter to deal with these strategic issues? Actually,
there is a strong connection between a Chapter Mission, Vision, Goals,
and Objectives and the willingness of the Chapter Members to volunteer
for Chapter activities. The time spent to understand the strategic intent
of a Chapter could be a tremendous aid in planning and executing day-to-day
Willingness of volunteers is directly related to 1) how well the activity
fits their personal needs and interests, and 2) how well it supports
the Chapter's needs as they understand them. Not every Chapter activity
will only consist of only "fun" tasks. Chapter Leaders must maintain
a connection between day-to-day activities and the Chapter's Mission,
Vision, Goals, and Objectives. This helps the Chapter Members see the
value of their efforts toward the direction of the Chapter. If the Chapter
Leaders have accurately interpreted what the Chapter collectively wants
to do and then translated this into action plans consistent with that
Chapter direction, a foundation is laid for a smooth running, effective
Chapter with plenty of volunteerism.
This process of interpretation has both formal and informal elements,
and is on-going. A certain amount of time with a representative segment
of the Chapter, actively developing a Chapter Mission, Vision, Goals,
and Objectives, as we've been taught at the Chapter Leadership Workshops,
may be necessary. But, much can also be learned informally from casual
discussions with Chapter Members. What topics do they show interest
or enthusiasm for? Body language during meetings is a great source of
"data" about the Membership's interest for a subject. The Chapter Leaders
must know Chapter Membership and learn its unique personality. This
takes time and much personal contact with the Membership. Listening
is one of a Chapter Leader's greatest skills.
One summation of this interpretation process should be expressed in
the Chapter's Mission, Vision, Goals, and Objectives. However, these
tend to be high level, general, and somewhat abstract statements. Another
role of Chapter Leaders is to translate both the formal and informal
expressions of the Chapter's strategic direction into pragmatic action.
Specific Goals or Objectives for the Chapter are one form of the translation,
but the real connection with the Membership is when specific action
plans are laid out. If the Chapter Leaders have done their homework
and accurately interpreted the will of the Chapter, the plans and proposals
will have been easier to define and the willingness of the Membership
to support the plans will be there. They should see their interests,
needs, and beliefs reflected-if you've done your job. Good luck.
LISTEN TO WHAT
THE MEMBERS OF YOUR CHAPTER ARE SAYING!
By Bill Hanna, Chapter Advisory Council
A Chapter Membership is populated with many different aviation interests
and needs. Understanding what the individual Members of a Chapter are
seeking and want to contribute is a never-ending task for the leaders.
Listening is one of the most important skills for Chapter Leaders.
Gathering "data" about the Membership of your Chapter, including wants
and needs, takes on many forms, but without this knowledge, Chapter
Leaders are at great risk of losing Members and Chapter enthusiasm.
Questionnaires have their place. The questions are standardized and
assure some degree of consistency in the returned information. However,
you get only what you ask for. The way questions are framed can introduce
a bias in the answers-hopefully unintentional. They are also impersonal
and don't allow for the follow-up questions that sometimes lead to better
understanding. They are good for determining general interests within
the Chapter, but cannot sense the passion and enthusiasm Chapter Members
may have for certain topics.
Brainstorming sessions, with all or a smaller group of the Chapter Membership,
are a powerful tool to learn what Members want to do. Small groups usually
are more open and interactive, but the risk of excluding someone must
be dealt with. If a small group is being assembled from the Chapter
Membership, try using the "diagonal slice" approach. Choose some "old-timers"
and some new Members. Bring in a few of the "hyper-volunteers" who participate
in everything and some that are not very active. Balance the out-spoken
with the quiet ones. The objective is to assemble a group that represents
the spectrum of personalities, experience, and interests of the overall
When facilitating discussions in this kind of group, the Chapter Leader
should work hard to make sure input is shared by all. Draw people out,
ask them what they think-especially the quiet ones. Avoid value judgements
on any thoughts or ideas until the end-the open flow of ideas and comments
is essential. Ask the group to consense on what comes out of the discussion.
If a report back to the Chapter Membership is necessary or required,
let one of the Members from the group make the report. This approach
reinforces the validity of the findings or recommendations. The Chapter
Leader needs to moderate this process and help assure a balanced conclusion
is reached, but respect carefully what the group recommends.
Group discussions are rich sources of information for the Chapter Leadership.
Listening to all that is said, remembering what different Members contributed,
sensing where the discussion had points of energy are all clues that
reveal what the Membership is looking for in the Chapter. Over time,
the astute Chapter Leader should develop a broad, accurate understanding
of what the Chapter wants to do and where it wants to go. Hopefully,
some of this is captured in a Mission and Vision statement as well as
Goals and Objectives for the Chapter, but this in-depth understanding
is also essential to lead the Chapter on a day-to-day basis. This knowledge
base will aid the Chapter Leaders in delegating and motivating the Membership
for projects and activities. Selecting the right people for the task
is half the battle, but, you've got to know the people.
Formal discussion groups are very useful for a focused topic. However,
Chapter Leaders have many opportunities to listen and learn. Every Chapter
business meeting and every hangar flying session is a chance to gather
intelligence, to hear what is on people's minds.
Non-verbal messages must also be watched. A dis-interested Chapter Member
is easy to spot-bored-looking, side-conversations, asleep! Better find
out why. They frequently become non-members if the situation continues.
What are they looking for in the Chapter? Exploring these situations
is best handled in a private setting and one-on-one. This should not
be confrontational. After all, if the Chapter programs and activities
are not meeting the Members needs, it's your problem, not theirs! Listen
carefully to these people. They are seldom alone and may represent many
others that could be potential Chapter Members if their needs were better
Chapter Leaders should compare notes frequently. A Chapter should be
a dynamic entity, moving and changing as time passes. Maintaining a
good sense of the Chapter's evolving interests and needs is essential
for the Chapter Leadership to remain effective. The better you can read
the group, and the better you know the people, the better you can do
the job they elected you to do. Good luck and keep your ears open.
What is the Relationship
Between the Mission
Vision of EAA and
the Mission and Vision
of your Chapter?
The EAA offers more
to Chapters than just administrative support. The excellent reputation
of the EAA and its programs are major enablers for Chapters. Maintaining
the linkage with the EAA and reinforcing that reputation benefits all
Members. Chapter Leaders must keep themselves informed of the direction
and initiatives of the EAA. Interpreting the EAA vision and direction
is part of your responsibility. What does it mean to your Chapter?
How are the Mission and Vision of the EAA, on a global basis, related
to and supportive of your Chapter's Mission and Vision? Making this
connection is an important step, for it leads to a better recognition
of how EAA programs and resources can help a Chapter's local initiatives
(and vice versa).
As a Chapter Leader,
have you read the EAA Mission and Vision statements? Take a minute to
² "EAA is dedicated to serving all of aviation by fostering and
encouraging individual participation, high standards, and access to
the world of flight in an environment that promotes freedom, safety,
family, and personal fulfillment."
² "Responding to its members needs and society at large, EAA will
have expanded beyond current activities and developed new programs to
be widely recognized as the premier aviation association in the world.
As a result, EAA will have a significantly larger membership made up
of traditional core interest groups, as well as new members representing
varied aviation interests. Improved and increased individual participation
and volunteerism will exist among all members and their families. The
organization and its management are structured to enhance the culture,
quality, and credibility of EAA and its activities, as well as the organization's
The existence of
your Chapter implies that some component of these statements, or the
resulting programs, is consistent with the interests and direction of
your Chapter. The linkage may not be explicit, but something that the
EAA stands for and does appeals to the Membership of your Chapter strongly
enough to not only be EAA Members, but to devote time to be an EAA Chapter
as well. That connection with the broader EAA direction is a fundamental
Chapter building block-it's a common starting point for every Member
and every EAA Chapter.
Each Chapter is
unique. The interests, skills and resources of its Members will vary.
Tailoring the Chapter's Vision, Goals, and Objectives to its unique
needs is the first priority for its leadership. However, within the
broader EAA Mission, there must be some elements that connect with your
Chapter's specific strengths and interests-otherwise why are you an
EAA Member or Chapter?
The very long list
of programs and initiatives supported by the EAA to accomplish its Mission
is a rich source of ideas for Chapter activities. These are also areas
of opportunity to leverage EAA resources for your Chapter. Many EAA
programs are strongly dependent on the Chapter organizations for implementation.
By understanding the EAA Mission and Vision and translating them into
specific, tailored actions for a Chapter, we help accomplish the EAA's
goals and build an activity base for the Chapter at the same time. The
EAA provides a great framework for a Chapter to accomplish much for
its Members and the aviation community. An EAA Chapter is (should be)
more than just a local aviation "club." This is the ready-made
foundation for a broader, more rewarding set of Chapter programs and
the overall EAA Mission and Vision and using the resources of the EAA,
the Chapter is working a vacuum. This translation is not necessarily
easy and it can't be a "canned" package from EAA Headquarters.
Your Chapter needs to determine how the Mission and Vision of EAA are
related to and consistent with the Chapter. The end result of this hard
work: more things for your Chapter to do, better direction to get them
done, and, if you're not careful, more fun! Good luck.
EAA # 212701
Chapter Advisory Council
ROLES OF EAA CHAPTER
By Bill Hanna, Chapter Advisory Council
The EAA is an activity-based, member-driven organization. Chapters are
a unique and important element of the EAA. They are the focal point
where Members have the ability to interact and participate and also
serve as a platform for EAA programs at the local level. Without the
International network of Chapters, the accomplishments of the EAA, its
contribution to the world of sport aviation, and its value to EAA Members
would be greatly diminished. To effectively organize and manage a Chapter,
it is essential that the Chapter Leaders understand and support these
Every EAA Chapter is unique. The specific interests of a Chapter's membership
will influence its activities and personality as an organization. However,
to varying degrees, every Chapter will play some combination of the
All EAA Members are aviation enthusiasts. An EAA Chapter provides
a forum for Members to come together at a local, personal level and
share their interests and common love for aviation. This social interaction
with kindred spirits is one of the most fundamental reasons EAA Members
join a Chapter. Every Chapter should conscientiously support and nurture
A local Chapter membership represents a wealth of aviation knowledge,
skills, and resources. The Chapter enables a network to develop where
Members can assist each other and share their expertise. This typically
includes homebuilders working together, Technical Counselors and Flight
Advisors providing their support and general "hanger flying" where people
share their experiences. Some of this networking will happen naturally
within a Chapter, but the Chapter's programs and activities can reinforce
it. Access to the skills, knowledge and experience of other EAA Members
was one of the original founding tenants of the EAA Chapter program
and still remains a critical role.
Local Aviation Activities
A Chapter provides a local, on-going activity base for EAA Members.
Every EAA meeting is an aviation activity. In addition; the guest speakers,
fly-ins, fly-outs, forums, air shows, and multitude of other activities
EAA Chapters plan and implement add to the count. Some activities are
primarily for the benefit the local EAA Chapter Members, but frequently
the larger aviation community is served as well. Chapters are the organizational
basis for literally thousands of aviation activities and events annually
- more aviation related activities than any other organization in the
world. Making things happen at the local level is one of the most tangible
of Chapter roles.
The formal incorporation of a Chapter establishes a legal basis
and favorable tax status to own assets and generate income to support
its member's interests and activities. It also shields the members form
personal liability risks. These business structure features, along with
EAA provided insurance coverage, enable EAA Members to undertake projects
and activities that would be impractical and risk-laden if the Chapter
platform was not in place.
Although the EAA is prominent, international organization, often
the only exposure to the EAA and awareness of the organization by the
general public, and some of the flying community, is through the presence
and activities of local Chapters. The positive image of the EAA, its
high standards, and contributions are projected through the Chapters.
It is an inherent role of every Chapter and its leaders that they assure
the chapter's contribution to the reputation and image of the EAA is
Local Chapters provide EAA headquarters with and important conduit
for communication with WAA members. Aviation concerns can be emphasized
and new initiatives explained through the Chapter interface. When membership
support is needed, this communication interface serves to quickly inform
members of the issue and organize their actions. This information flow
can be two-way. Concerns and input of EAA Members condensed and compiled
through a Chapter represent a very effective approach for EAA Members
to communicate to headquarters. Chapter leaders play a key role in facilitating,
not filtering, this communications linkage.
The Chapter also serves as an enabler for EAA programs and initiatives
to be accomplished at the local level. Chapters represent nearly 1000
sets of organized resources deployed in the field to support EAA programs.
Through the Chapter network, EAA can directly implement many aspects
of its mission and objectives. Many programs are designed for execution
through the Chapter infrastructure, e.g., Flying Start and Young Eagles.
While initiatives such as the Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor
programs can work at the individual level, the Chapter platform provides
and organization base that enhances their range and effectiveness.
Several roles identified above are member oriented. Their underlying
tenant is to provide members services and activities they would not
be able to accomplish on their own. This is a fundamental reason for
the EAA Chapter program which has existed since the beginnings of the
Association. In other roles, Chapters serve as a tool or extension of
the EAA parent body to enhance its ability to fulfill its overall mission
as an organization. In all cases, the Chapter program dramatically multiplies
the effectiveness of the EAA as an organization and the value of EAA
membership. To fulfill these roles, Chapters need a sound organizational
structure and effective on-going management. Chapter leaders must be
prepared to provide both.
Chapters¾The Grass Roots of EAA, Mary Jones
Sport Aviation, July, 1996
Homebuilders' Corner, Tom Poberezny
Sport Aviation, March, 1995
Homebuilders' Corner, Tom Poberezny
Sport Aviation, October, 1986
EAA Chapter News, Lisa Chapman
Sport Aviation, February, 1985
A Special Report¾A Look at EAA, Tom Poberezny
Sport Aviation, April, 1965
Chatting with the Chapters, Leo J. Kohn
Sport Aviation, May, 1965
Chatting with the Chapters, Leo J. Kohn
EAA Chapter Monthly Gram, Volume IV, No. 3
How well are we doing?
Letter to Chapter Presidents, March 1, 1988
IS IT ANYWAY? (Yours, mine or theirs?)
By Bill Hanna, Chapter Advisory Council
Is your Chapter
being run to your personal agenda? Or a small clique? This is an important
point to consider. The fact that you have the energy and willingness
to be a Chapter Leader doesn't necessarily instill you with profound
knowledge and insight. If the direction of your Chapter Leadership isn't
well tuned with where the Chapter collectively wants to go, somebody's
days are numbered. Unfortunately, this situation frequently takes its
toll first through attrition of the Chapter Membership rather than the
Chapter Leadership-they vote with their feet.
It is sometimes
heard that a Chapter is just ËA bunch of old timers that want to talk
and drink coffee,Ó or, ËThat EAA Chapter is for homebuilders only.Ó
These comments are a strong signal of Chapter Leadership that may be
very biased and narrow minded-or just no leadership at all. There is
nothing wrong with coffee drinking and hangar-flying, or being strongly
focused on homebuilding within a Chapter, as long as two criteria are
met: 1) this really is the collective will of the Chapter Members
and 2) the Chapter Membership understands and are comfortable that their
narrow base is very limiting and will exclude many other potential Members
from the Chapter. It's OK if this is what a Chapter wants to
The concern is when
these criteria do not apply and a Chapter is steered in a very narrow
direction because a small group dominates the Chapter, or the Chapter
Leaders are running the Chapter to satisfy their own personal interests.
This situation may be difficult and uncomfortable for the leaders to
assess, but the long-term vitality and growth of the Chapter depends
on this recognition. The hardest part is the admission that a narrow
or personal agenda is present.
If a Chapter is
being dominated by the clique, the Chapter Leader's challenge is to
actively engage other Members of the Chapter and begin to balance activities
and input to reflect all Chapter Members. This is not an overnight
transition and is probably most effectively handled by the gradual introduction
of new activities supported by fresh Members. Will this alienate the
clique? Maybe, but it's not their exclusive Chapter. More likely
they will find that the Chapter activities in other areas are more interesting
and fun than they ever imagined.
A Chapter Leader(s)
running a Chapter centered around his or her personal interests can
be difficult to correct unless they recognize the problem and are willing
to change. Egos and personalities may be present that further complicate
the situation. However, when Chapter Leadership becomes self-serving,
change must happen. This is a strong argument for regular change
of Chapter Leadership through the election process. Regular rolling
over of the Leadership introduces fresh ideas and breaks patterns and
influences that may be limiting a Chapter's vitality. Even the best
of leaders can fall into a rut and may no realize their management of
the Chapter needs improvement.
The fact that you
have the gumption to be a Chapter Leader also means that you've probably
done some homework. You've spent more time than anyone else listening
and thinking about the Chapter Membership's needs and direction. Your
ideas are very valuable and should carry a lot of weight. The crucial
element here is to understand if your ËinterpretationÓ of the Chapter
Membership's desired direction is the product of a good understanding
of the Chapter Membership's needs; or is it your personal desires, or
that of an exclusive clique. This is an honesty check-you need to do
it once in a while. Good luck.