Bill Hannah

 

 

A letter from Mary Lou to Chapter55

 

Below are seven reference papers that Bill Hannah wrote, as archived on the EAA Chapter advisory council web site. These papers stand as an example of his dedication to aviation and the EAA, as well as his ability to bring people together for a common cause.

 



A PRIMER ON CHAPTER HANGARS
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 own facility.

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.

This assessment 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 LOOK LIKE?

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 into afterburner.

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 conditions.

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 WORK?

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 workers.

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 great risk.

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.

PAPERWORK, PAPERWORK, PAPERWORK

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.

These typically include:

  • Foundation or footings
  • Primary electrical service (breaker box and connection to the electrical utility)
  • Well and septic system (if applicable)
  • Rough electrical system (before the wiring is enclosed)
  • Finished electrical system
  • Heating system
  • Plumbing
  • Final building inspection (usually the last inspection and required before the building can be occupied)

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 moving.

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 its contents.

HOW TO PAY FOR IT

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 project.

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.

WHAT HAPPENS 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.

Insurance coverage 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 of aircraft.

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 it.

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.

CONCLUSION

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!

Appendix 1

Example from EAA Chapter 55

Utilization of 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 or shop.
      
    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.

Hangar Policy

  • 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 space.
      
    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 the users.

Appendix 2

Chapters with 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
Doug Apland
(715) 723-5919

djapland@discover-net.net

EAA Chapter 512
Claudette Colwell
(530) 621-3408

colwell@innercite.com

EAA Chapter 690
Duane Huff
(770) 921-4423


EFFECTIVE CHAPTER LEADERSHIP ... one step at a time

By Bill Hanna
Chapter Advisory Council

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.

GENERAL 
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 people.

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: 

LISTENING
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 their motivation.

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 destination.

COMMUNICATION
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 and mission

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.

DELEGATION
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.


AUTHORITY
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. 

CONFIDENCE
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:

COMMITMENT
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. 

SUPPORT
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. 

ACCOUNTABILITY
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.

REINFORCEMENT
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 well understood.

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 called for.

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 mission. 

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. 

SUMMARY
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.

Good Luck

Bill Hanna

 


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 unlikely.

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 tactics.

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 Chapter Membership.

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 addressed.

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 and 
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 read these:

EAA Mission 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."

EAA Vision 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 continued growth."

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 activities.

Without understanding 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.

Bill Hanna
EAA # 212701
Chapter 55
Chapter Advisory Council

 


PURPOSES AND 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 roles.

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 following roles:

Member Interaction
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 this interaction.

Networking
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.

Business Framework
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.

EAA Representation
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 positive.

Communication
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.

Program Implementation
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.

Primary References

 

Experimenter, February, 1988
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
Paul Poberezny


WHOSE CHAPTER 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 be.

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.

 

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