BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT
Learn to avoid the whiners.
Like many of you, I belong to several civic and industrial nonprofit organizations. I always find it amusing to see the elders of such organizations criticize the current slate of officers. Inevitably, you hear, “That’s not how we did things in my day.” They then go on to berate the officers on their performance. Well, sometimes they’re right, but most of the time they are wrong. Dead wrong. If left unchecked, their negativity can consume an organization like a plague of locusts, to the point where the officers get frustrated and ultimately do nothing.
I can’t remember ever attending a nonprofit group where everybody was happy with everything and everybody. In fact, I think its a myth. If such an organization exists, I sure would like to see it. These nonprofit organizations are typically run by well meaning people with some time on their hands; and let us not forget it is a VOLUNTEER type of organization. Rarely, if ever, are the officers paid for their services. True, people will make mistakes and need guidance, but not at the price of having their name besmirched. As Winston Churchill wisely observed, “Any idiot can see what is wrong with something, but can you see what’s right?”
At a recent meeting of a nonprofit group I belong to, I heard one of the elder’s grouse, “Well, this is a rotten year and next year will be worse.” I looked at him and said, “No, it has been a good year and next year will be better.” I reminded him that the group had plenty of money in the bank and membership was on the rise. This caught him off guard and he recognized that I had the right attitude; that the glass was half-full, not half-empty.
No, the officers of such groups will not always be perfect, but then again, Who is? Its up to the group overall to pull things together, not just one or two officers.
The problem with negativity is that it can become infectious, and in the process, quite damaging. Fortunately, so can optimism, and people tend to gravitate to the positive as opposed to the negative.
For those who insist on whining about everything, I say, “Get over it.” I learned a long time ago in business not to complain unless I was prepared to suggest an alternative. However, to bitch simply for the sake of bitching is counterproductive and disrupts the harmony of such groups. If I have any suggestion in this regard, I would ask the members of such groups to turn something negative into something positive.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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