Re: STC Chapter Presidents

Subject: Re: STC Chapter Presidents
From: Garret Romaine <garret -dot- h -dot- romaine -at- EXGATE -dot- TEK -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:02:27 -0800

I think there are a lot of different reasons for the problem of losing
track of your past presidents. As a current chapter president, I can
even think of a few...

By way of background, we have been a chapter for 20 years. I can only
name about seven of the past presidents, and only one is what I'd call
active right now, meaning attending meetings. A couple of the others
tend to lurk outside the radar screen, appearing from time to time, but
the rest are on to bigger and better things, by and large.

What I've noticed is that many of the people who are energized enough to
run for chapter president tend to be pretty high-bandwidth folks. Of the
few past presidents I know well, some simply outgrew the Society. They
went on to upper management, project management in a related field,
high-priced consulting, or other career choices. They weren't
necessarily burnt out by the STC; they had simply moved on.

If you think about it, the Society isn't really set up to be everything
to everyone. It's great for getting started, for learning your craft,
for understanding new tools and technology, and for preparing you for
management. It's also an outstanding networking vehicle. At some point,
however, you may find as a manager that you need help with
administration, budgeting, motivation, performance issues, etc. That
isn't necessarily the STC's strong suit. I'm not even sure it should be.

I've talked about this at length with a couple of the past presidents
here, and I still agree with something Lance Gelein told our officers
last summer -- running a chapter is the best job in the Society. You can
make a difference in people's careers by choosing good topics for
programs, by initiating training and education, by simply energizing the
people around you and elevating their spirits. You learn management
skills in an environment where you can try new things and not get burned
too badly when they don't work. In the larger chapters, where you have a
lot of officers, SIG managers, and committees, you learn to delegate and
to let go. It's my belief that my tenure as president is making me a
better manager, in a baptism-by-fire kind of way.

Myself, I'm looking forward to being past president and wearing the
'emeritus' label with dignity. I look forward to handing off the
decision-making to those who will come after me, and I also reserve the
right to heckle a bit from the back row. I don't intend to go quietly...

Garret Romaine
Soon-to-be Past President,
Willamette Valley Chapter
garret -dot- h -dot- romaine -at- exgate -dot- tek -dot- com

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