Manage and Lead
by Peter Skye
There is a great difference between management and leadership. Management makes sure that things which were done before are done again. Leadership, however, brings a vision to things which never have been done.
To its credit, the SCOUG Board does a good job of managing day to day operations; things run smoothly without major problems. Particularly impressive is the dedication of Treasurer Steven Levine, whose presentation at the January SCOUG General Meeting, replete with pie charts, percent of budget variances and exacting financial detail, should give every SCOUG member a secure feeling concerning the group's bank account.
But a Board isn't just for management. A Board should have knowledge of the needs of those it serves, a vision of the future, and an evolving plan for creating more and better benefits for members. Thus, not so warm and fuzzy is the feeling one might get for the Board's ability to lead
SCOUG into the future. As Treasurer Levine clearly pointed out, last year the Board allocated project funds for the good of the membership, then often dropped the ball. The result? Less OS/2 for members.
Further, there's very little on the Board table for the coming year. Yes, there's a Warp Expo West 2001 committee hard at work and the three committee members -- Terry Warren, Dallas Legan, John Hlavac -- are putting together a June show we'll all be proud of. And separate from the
Board, Program Chair Mark Abramowitz continues to bring quality speakers to our meetings. But in neither of these cases is SCOUG's Board planning for the future needs of members.
Perhaps there is a problem when Board members gather to pose new ideas. The nine Board members meet once a month, and SCOUG's Bylaws are clear about those meetings (and are
online for anyone's review at
http://www.scoug.com/business/bylaws.html). Section 15 states who is in charge, who calls the shots, who makes sure all viewpoints are heard. Notably absent from that Section is any assignment of the power to judge and shout down new or opposing views. For a Board to plan for the future, all members must be allowed to have their say.
To manage and to lead. That is the purpose of the Board. More time must be spent considering the future. And no single Board member should stop the Board from doing so.
Comments? Questions? Ideas to share?
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