Re: [Harp-L] SPAH Elections etc
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- Subject: Re: [Harp-L] SPAH Elections etc
- From: Michelle LeFree <mlefree@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 12:43:29 -0700
- In-reply-to: <201112162026.pBGKQRIc019780@harp-l.com>
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Winslow Yerxa wrote
Thanks, Michelle, for your thoughtful observations on the SPAH convention. And I certainly sympathize with the difficulties you've experienced in being able to attend the SPAH convention. I had some tough years where I had to stay away, and I really missed it and the many good friends whom I get to see only at that gathering.
Everyone has their own physical/financial/practical constraints. I'm not
appealing for sympathy here, just trying to make a case for some fresh
thinking in SPAH leadership about ways to make its goodness more accessible.
One thing I'd like to clarify, at least as far as it concerns me and my candidacy: I'm all for new ideas, and am not "clinging to the tradition that SPAH has worked long and hard to cultivate." But new ideas have to be carefully evaluated. To be workable, they must: All valid points, Winslow, as are the concerns you've stated about other
ideas. Only thing is this. I'd like to hear those aspiring to SPAH
leadership list the reasons why it should do a good thing ~before~
listing all the impediments to achieving it. I believe that if one who
wants to achieve a goal of most any kind starts out focused primarily of
the obstacles to achieving it, that goal becomes that much more
difficult to achieve. That kind of thinking frequently stops people from
ever trying to achieve any particular goal in the first place. I'm not
saying that those obstacles should be ignored by any means; only that
they should be put in perspective in a cost/benefit analysis. I believe
that the potential benefits of SPAH stepping out of its time-tested mind
set far outweigh the potential downside of sticking to its historical
way of thinking. (BTW, Winslow, I am not suggesting you necessarily
represent the old school of thinking at SPAH. It's just that I think
those proposing to step into a leadership role of an organization that
clearly needs to make change should demonstrate their ideas for solving
old problems in new ways.)
-- Be acceptable to existing SPAH members
-- Offer us a benefit we don't already have
-- Be achievable on a practical level given our financial resources and
available hands and heads to do the work
-- Not expose SPAH to financial peril.
I read Iceman's post as suggesting that SPAH leadership should adopt an
attitude where it sets a goal that is clearly of great benefit and then
knocks down any obstacles as they present themselves. I read that as
adopting a "can-do" attitude rather than a timid, "make sure that all
the i's are dotted before we get out of the gate" posture. I believe
that it is the leader who steps out and states a goal, and then takes
whatever steps are necessary to achieve it, who deserves popular support.
When I think of people who have achieved great things, they always seem
to be the ones that think a bit differently than those who sit back and
watch or simply follow the masses. They seem to be able to "think out of
the box." I believe that the new SPAH leadership needs to "think out of
the box" if they propose to move the organization forward.
The model of renting out campus dorm space for a teaching event has been mentioned to me before, and I think it's worth looking at.
Even though it's my idea, I think it is a great one. So what Winslow, in
specific terms, do you mean by "looking into it" when there is a good
idea out there. Would you form a committee or a task group ~or~ would
you either make it happen yourself or assign the task to someone who
will dive in head-first and refuse to take no for an answer?
I have a lot of confidence in musicians. I'm convinced that anyone who
can succeed at learning to play a musical instrument well is capable of
achieving great things in other areas of their life. The dedication,
discipline, tenacity and positive attitude that it takes to learn to
play music all serve a person well in most other areas of life. I'm
therefore confident that any of the brave folks who've stepped up to
take on the role of SPAH leadership is capable of doing great things for
the organization. The question I ask myself is, which is capable of
conceiving and then effecting the kind change I believe is necessary?
I've had a few different alternative models brought to my attention, all different from each other and from SPAH's current event model, and I'd like to investigate them in greater depth, and evaluate them for SPAH, both for adaptation to its current needs and for new possibilities they might offer. As always, it's down to available resources.
Fair enough. But... it's that last statement that is the kicker. I admit
to thinking like an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs must ~believe~ that they
can accomplish their objective. Once they have that belief, they are
mentally equipped to do whatever is necessary to make that objective
happen. If it's a big problem they are faced with, they parse it out and
attack each piece voraciously until everything needed to solve it is in
place. When an entrepreneur manages a company, they don't say, "well we
don't have enough __________" (fill in the blank) so we can't do that.
They say OK, I see the problem(s), now what do we have to do to get
enough __________ to overcome it? And then they do whatever is required
themselves or delegate it. I believe that SPAH leadership should think
of and treat it like a business. Successful businesses aren't run by
leaders who are good only at listing problems -- they also need to be
able to list -- and then effect -- solutions.
Let the discussion continue. This is exactly the sort of sharing of ideas an experiences that I've been hoping for.Me, too! 8^)
Thanks, Winslow (and Bob & Warren) for dedicating yourself to leading
SPAH into the future. Whomever accedes to the role of President & Vice
President, I'm sure SPAH will be in good hands.
BTW, Winslow, I may have missed it, but have you selected a running mate?
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