Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"It's Time to Deliver" in Your Chapter

Time to deliver
from our Friends at The Apathy Myth: a Blog for America's Student Leaders
Someone emailed me a question this week: "What is the best advice you can give to student organizations and student life people during this time of recession, slashed budgets, and depressing economics." My first reaction was to advise that people should keep their chins up and be optimistic. But, after more thought, here's my answer.

"It's time to deliver."

No one cares about what you meant to do. No one wants to hear excuses. No one has any patience for people who whine, and under-perform.

Shut up, put in the work, and deliver something. In a current economic climate where people are three months behind on house payments, no one cares about tiny, whiny problems.

I heard this morning on the news that satisfaction with Congress is at a 12-year low in the polls right now. I'm of the opinion (and you may disagree, that's fine) that Congress is actually getting quite a bit done this session. But, I understand why the poll is showing dissatisfaction among regular Americans. When the public is pissed, worried and impatient for progress, the regular machinations of debate and deal-making annoy the public more.

When the environment is worrisome, it's also impatient and demanding. It's time to deliver.

Same thing when it comes to your organization. People (your members and your constituents) are looking for results. They don't want politics, posturing, excuses or lengthy explanations of why you can't get something done. They don't care if it's hard, or if your budget is slashed, or if you're having to work more hours. They don't want big, flashy impressive events. They want you to do your job and produce something of value.

My best advice to student organizations right now? Buckle down, and produce. Don't aim to impress. Don't take on wild new projects. Fix what's broken, focus on getting the job done. Get rid of leaders who aren't stepping up and doing their jobs. Make sure your finances are in order, and make sure you have a plan in case your dollars decline. Find economies, and say goodbye to the partnerships, the events, and the processes that drain away resources.

To student life people: appreciate the fact that you have a job, make yourself invaluable to everyone counting on you, and guide people to the other side of this mess. You need to deliver, also. Make sure your time is spent on efforts that yield visible results.

Right now, three strong achievements beat the hell out of wild plans and promises.