We Don’t Need Stars Here, Just Members
I’ve appeared at many chapters of professional organizations of which I am a national or international member, for free. I usually don’t even charge travel expenses. I’ve helped them raise tremendous amounts of money through my appearances and offering seats in my personal offerings in “auctions.” I’ve had more invitations than I can accept.
But, too often, when I alert these chapters that I’m in town hosting one of those personal offerings, they refuse to support it or even communicate it to their members. The ostensible reason is that they’d be promoting too many people. But that’s not true, the real reason is that they don’t want anyone to be a star. They do not believe their mission in the chapter is to promote excellence and provide opportunity for people to grow. They fear the competition from people who are highly successful and can provide new skills and abilities.
That’s because in most associations and professional groups their unstated goal is to make every member as successful as their least successful member. Equality, not excellence. And, usually, the people making these decisions as officers are not star performers themselves.
There have been wonderful exceptions, of course. I salute them and have been happy to partner with them. But too often association leadership doesn’t see itself as responsible in building the skills of members to create stars, but rather to keep everyone in the herd and in the corral.