2019-2020 National Chief of Staff and Extension Ambassador
WHOSE BALL IS IT?
Do you as a member, as an Officer, look around at meetings or events and have thoughts fill your head such as:
- Why are our meetings so MEANINGLESS? Why are they no fun?
- Why are THOSE people sitting at the head table?
- Why didn’t we have enough VOLUNTEERS to help with the Family Freedom Festival?
- Why didn’t we have ATTENDANCE from our community at the POW/MIA Remembrance event?
- Why do we PARTICIPATE in the National Programs if we don’t get credit?
Could it be because:
- We think meetings have to run like a court of law?
- Someone is familiar with protocol for Department events, but not familiar with protocol for District or Post/Auxiliary-level events?
- The event was poorly planned and we didn’t ask for volunteers?
- Communicating this special event to the community was overlooked, e.g. no flyers, no posts on the website and/or Facebook, no local radio PSAs, etc.
- A Chairman didn’t complete and submit the report to the District and/or Department?
Part of this Program is EXTENSION. This Program asks not only the Chief of Staff or Deputy Chiefs of Staff to extend themselves in aiding to keep Auxiliaries, Districts and Departments healthy, EXTENSION asks that you extend yourself as a member to step up to leadership, to step up as a Chairman, as a volunteer, as someone to be counted on. We should be able to have a great balance in business and fun.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
Henry Wythe wrote, “Accountability is to demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.”
Roger Conners and Tom Smith, founders of PartnersInLeadership, Inc. and authors of “The Oz Principle” wrote, “The words accountability and responsibility are often interchangeable; there is a fundamental difference between the two. Responsibility may be bestowed, but accountability must be taken.”
Responsibility is given to each of us as members of the VFW Auxiliary. It’s given at all levels, all positions, yes, even to “just” members. We, as sworn members, must take that responsibility. Having said this, it doesn’t automatically guarantee that personal accountability will be taken. It simply means that it is possible to bear responsibility for something or someone but still lack accountability!
You will recognize the difference between responsibility and accountability as you think of times when people have “dropped the ball” on an important project, or didn’t follow through in meeting a deadline. When duties and expectations are not clearly defined we often hear, “Whose ball was that?” or “I thought you had it,” or “It wasn’t my job!” We hear this frequent offering of excuses/explanations to show that “someone” did shirk their responsibility and fail to do their job. It is always so much easier to blame someone else.
So what does this mean? Clearly defining responsibilities is essential, but encouraging people to go a step further and take personal accountability will secure better results every time. We often hear, “We no longer take pride in what we do,” or “Where has the pride gone in being a member of such an elite organization?”
When we as members, Chairmen and Officers take accountability for the results, we take ownership. Accountability is a broader concept than responsibility, making it possible to keep the ball from getting dropped.
Are you, as a member of this organization, willing to take accountability? It will mean you are more likely to invest your heart, your mind, and your most precious gift of time to get things done that will allow you to achieve amazing results and exceed expectations. Respect follows those who commit to accountability and responsibility.
This is how respect is earned; It is never a “gimme.” You must perform the duties and earn trust to gain respect. Accountability and responsibility are doors that will open the way.
Serving Our Veterans with Aloha…something we should all want to do every day!