Creating a Positive and Passionate Culture

Creating a Positive and Passionate Culture
 
The success of any business, group, club or association can be attributed to the people involved, their ambition, their attitude and most importantly effective communication. This is no different for service clubs. So what contributes to a positive and passionate culture in your club?
 
Communication

In order to be a successful club, you have to devote regular opportunities for all members to sit together and discuss what is going well and what isn’t. It’s critical to take note of all of your victories but it is just as important to analyze what problems the club may be facing. A productive and fertile culture is one that recognizes when things don’t work and adjusts quickly to rectify the problem.
 
Furthermore, in order for members to speak freely on their opinions, it is important to make them feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, by letting them know that their input is welcomed, Communication of course isn’t just about talking but also about listening. Great cultures grow around people who listen. Listen to your club members, to your potential members and to what others are saying. Surveys in their most simplest forms are a direct way to encourage members to give their opinions, and can be as straightforward as an email asking several questions. However, for more interactive discussions, consider holding a Club Assembly in lieu of one of your meetings, preferably in a different location. For larger clubs, it may be a good idea to break up into groups and go through a list of topics, with a final recap at the end.
 
Tend to the Weeds

In every large crowd, you are going to have at least one person who only focuses on what is wrong and continues to complain, spreading negativity throughout the group. Although this may simply be their nature, one needs to work alongside such a person to address their attitude. Sometimes, by identifying such a person and working with them from the beginning, you can avoid bigger problems from brewing. Keep in mind that while you risk offending this one person, by doing nothing you risk offending several members who are affected by this person.
 
Be Ambitious

Without ambition, we would stagnate. You need to support big steps and powerful beliefs. As a club that does so much for the community, you and your members have to be ambitious and believe that you can accomplish your goals. Great cultures grow around ambition and determination. Foster this by recognizing passion for a certain project or cause and by encouraging members to bring forth ideas where they feel they can make a difference. When the club gets behind this member with a project, you have cemented this person’s dedication to the club and retained them for a long time.
 
Celebrate Differences

Great cultures are built on diversity of background, experience and interests. These differences generate energy and create interaction between members that helps breed revolutionary ideas. When the club and its members celebrate their differences and unite to achieve a common goal, they create a positive and welcoming atmosphere, which attracts new members to become part of the club. How does our club acknowledge differences in culture, age, gender and background, and use this to gain better ground in the community?
 
Work Hard. Play Hard.

To obtain passion capital requires a work ethic. It’s easy to do what you love and be part of what you believe in and it is also very rewarding. Sometimes, you might feel that the club and its activities are demanding too much of your time and attention but note that all the hours and devotion will yield great rewards. If all of your club members adopt this attitude, you can be sure that your club is headed towards great success. Recognize members that have gone above and beyond their call of duty by nominating them for awards, writing about them in your next newsletter, or simply by acknowledging their contributions in front of the club.
 
Take the Long View

Very often, we tend to overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what we can do in five years. By looking ahead and planning for the future, we can plan our strategies to accomplish our goals as well as plan for any uncertainties that may lie ahead. By doing so, you are setting your club to become a strong and powerful club ready to take on the challenges ahead. Sit down with the club and put together your long term plan by setting goals on what your club hopes to accomplish in membership, community contributions, as well as culture and style. Then, break down the goals into a series of steps to ensure you get there. Reassess every year where the club is in terms of its long term strategy, and make adjustments as necessary. Keep every member involved in this process so everyone is accountable on the state of the club, and therefore also attributable to its success.
 
Adapted from Forbes Article: Rules for Creating a Passionate Work Culture

 

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