Re: [Harp-L] SPAH Elections etc

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:

-- 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.
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.)

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?


This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.