Being a Senator
Over the summer I was on Facebook, as usual, and was discussing both the absurd, the funny and maybe a thing political or two. A younger Jaycee from Iowa that I know through Jaycee national conventions was looking for some advice on a leadership course and his involvement with his chapter. If we can remember back to when we were 27 and the world was a very different place, perhaps we were a Jaycee, maybe we were starting a family, or already on our 2nd or 3rd job. At 27, I had been married for 5 years, had purchased my 1st home, and was expecting my 1st child.
This young man, a Jaycee for several years, is 27 and in a chapter that had a problem that I never experienced before as a Jaycee. As a younger Jaycee who was looking for leadership opportunities his chapter was unable to give him what he wanted because with 150 members, he had limited opportunities to lead. Their established projects were run by the same people every year, he could help but not take on significant roles in projects. If only we all had chapters with such woes, yet whether a chapter struggles to keep 20 members or thrives to over 300 members the point of the organization needs to be to provide opportunities to their membership.
Probably one of the hardest parts of aging out and becoming a JCI Senator is relinquishing control over projects that mean so much to you. Remembering to provide guidance, when asked, but stepping back to pass on leadership rolls to younger members.
He called me and we talked for an hour about a leadership course he was looking into. His chapter President didn’t think he was ready to take the class but his father did and so did I. I was impressed by his initiative several years ago when he raised money for a cause by selling snow on EBay. After a monster snowfall he set up an auction on EBay to sell some snow to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Obviously selling snow and shipping it is a preposterous plan, but he did anyway and sold 2 jars and raised an additional $96 to add to his fundraising for a total of $500. Side note, I even placed a bid or two. Creativity and initiative is the foundation of great leaders and entrepreneurs. Finding a better way to do something or creating a better mouse trap. Individual Development Is what makes the Jaycees different from other organization. It is one of the things that I have seen disappearing from the organization. Giving members the opportunity to succeed or fail is also essential to the success of the organization and our members. It is, as far as I’m concerned, the most important thing we can do for our young people.