Jump to content

What do you do when the Failing Committee Chair is you?

Recommended Posts

So, I was an ACM in my Pack and happy at that. Our committee chair stepped aside to be his son's WebII leader and the cross over with him as an ASM. NOBODY wanted the position, partly because we have some hands off parents and partly because he ran a one man show. I stepped up only because it was obvious no one else would.

Now, I know my strengths and weakness well. I am really great with long term planning and ideas, and I am a really great worker bee on the day of the event. The inbetween detail stuff I am not good at mainly because of a life-long lack of organization and way too many irons in the fire to tend each one properly. I am building the committe and trying to delegate the one-man show but it is not going swimmingly. I think I have the next committe chair identified, but do not want to push him too far too fast. I am drowning and am looking for a lifeline. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just took on a UC position to a Pack with the same problems..


Our DE & Disctrict Commissioner will be visiting in the fall to kick some new parents into gear.. Here is an idea I have to kick the long-term immobile into gear..


Now what you really need is an outsider, or at least one person who is really has your perspective and is helping out, (not your planned replacement though).. I plan to borrow one of the team building excercises in the new ILST (Intro Leadership Skills for Troops).. It is for the building the boys into a team, but it is perfect for this..


Call all your parents together, for a few items to discuss, one being committee help, but try to have other things to discuss so they just don't ditch the meeting. Just before discussing the need for parents to step up to be on the committee, start out with this team buiding game..


Pre-setup: blow up lots of white balloons and have a black magic marker..


Game: You stand in the middle of the room, and your outside "friend" it the initiator.. He asks the parents what jobs need to be done to have a successful pack.. If they don't respond well enough, he should have his own list..

So he writes on a balloon with magic marker each position..

Committee Chair and tosses the baloon into you to keep in the air..

Treasurer - tosses the balloon into you.

Secretary - tosses in the balloon.

PopCorn Chair - tosses in the balloon..


(as you start having a difficult time he asks if you might need some help, to which you respond "Yes")..

Asks one parent into the mix..

then another parent, and another ..

in goes more balloons with the tasks written on them, in go more parents..


continues to call out needs.. Summer Camp organizer, Advancement coordinator, Pack trainer, Blue & gold Banquet orgaizer... on & on..



Then when full of balloons & parents.. He asks all the parents to step out, except for you.. You are left to try to keep all the balloons afloat.. (Of course many many are dropped as you can't possibly hold them all up by yourself)..


Now the outside help asks the parents to give you suggestions how you are to juggle all the balloons by yourself???...


I really believe this is such a visual display that will make people realize what they are asking of someone when they expect them to be a one man show..



After this you can start asking for people to step up and take on a job.. Maybe have a large easel and paper and have the jobs listed on them, go over a brief summary of the job and ask someone to step up before going on to the next job needing to be filled.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I's say you should look for a person who will help do the things you aren't good at doing.


Usually it's not too tough to find yourself an Assistant Committee Chair who can held do a relatively limited variety of things. No reason that couldn't be your long term replacement either, in my view.


Can you identify a person or two who would be good at helping you with that kind of thing?



Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that you need to delegate more if you can. Not the whole job, unfortunately, but pieces of it. Are there any committee members who are detail-oriented who might help? I know there are people who thrive on this kind of thing but don't want the responsibility of the position.

Link to post
Share on other sites

pchadbo states


I am building the committe and trying to delegate the one-man show but it is not going swimmingly.



Therefore I do not read this as pchadbo has a wonderful committee, and just can't do the committee chair position.. But he since the CC position is in getting the rest of the parents to help out and they are not, he feels this is what he is failing at..


He can not successfully run a one man show.

He does not feel he has been too successful in getting parents recruited into the committee.


Finding one person to become a two man show, to then hand him the job of CC so it can return to a one man show is not the answer..


It is unhealthy for the Pack to have a culture where they believe one person is suppose to do it all, and they are entitled to a smooth running pack with all the T's crossed and I's dotted..


Example of the new Pack I am to be UC for.. The CM stepped up to be CM (one person show) a month ago.. Already, a parent complained... not to the new CM (she didn't even know the person had a problem)., not to the CC.. there is no committee.. Not to the DE, Not to the DE's boss, not to his boss, but she hit the 2nd in command of the entire council to complain that her new CM was not running things as well as the old CM one man show did..


She does not do a thing for the pack..


She thinks she has the right to step all the way to the top positions in scouting to complain that her unit is not running picture perfect..


Guess what the DE did?.. Told the CM, rolled his eyes and said "I'm on your side.." "I will need to call her, but I don't deal well with entitled prema-donnas.."..


edited to add: Oh yes, and the District Commissioner also enlisted me to step in and help out.. I don't deal well with entitled prema-donnas either.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, I missed that you are the committee right now. I was hoping you had a secretary or treasurer or someone else, at least.


Can you do some sort of project management thing where you write out all the steps for each task and organize it by date, then check it daily so you can see what you can do? Even disorganized people can usually manage this for a little while, maybe long enough to bring more volunteers on board.


Is there someone who doesn't want to be on the committee but is good at organizing who can help you temporarily? Watching my dh struggle to do everything in the unit that fell to him by default brought me into scouting. Initially it was to help him and preserve our family time, then I grew to enjoy it. I worked with him for a good 9 months before it was easier to register and get on with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you feel that you simply aren't ever going to learn the organizational part? That's a key part of being the committee chair.


You either need to find someone who can take that part over - a committee secretary, perhaps, or maybe a vice-chair - or else you need to move on. If you know you are going to continue to fail at the position, then the question might be whether you think it would be worse if you just resigned.


One thing you might do. Announce that you are overloaded and that you know you can't do the job that you'd hoped you'd be able to do. Hence, you are going to resign as committee chairman effective in one month. You can offer to stay around and help, but you can let the pack know that there will need to be a new committee chair identified, or else things will fold.


Nothing motivates folks like a deadline.


I'd probably try the one-to-one recruiting first. Go to the person you've identified as the next committee chair, and ask if they would come on board and help you with project management as Position X on the committee. Let them get comfortable with that for awhile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the advice.

ED I have tried to delegate but I look at people and they run away.


SP thank you I think I can find someone (and have one in mind!!)


Sasha I have been beating my head against this wall for almost a year and while my organizational skills have improved, there wasn't much place else to go. . .


Oak, I am frustrated enough to do that, however, the structure of the Pack at this point would leave one person in the same shoes I am now filling with me helping.


I am just venting and looking for suggestions such as the great ones above, thank you.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what pchadbo is looking for are suggestions on how to change the culture of a group from not getting involved, to feeling that everyone has a responsibility to do their fair share to make it work..


I am surprised SeattlePioneer has not posted.. I know he has successfully changed the culture of the unit.. But, I also know it was not overnight success.


It is easy to say, get more people involved to help you.. The trick is, when they don't want to do anything, how do you encourage them to get involved.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The number of postings here by unit leaders with trouble shows us that our commissioner program is not functioning very well at a national level. I know some of you are UC's and you do a great job, but you know you are few and far between. Most UC's are doing three other jobs, and unit leaders have no idea who their UC is, and the UC has no idea how to help them.

Link to post
Share on other sites



Your attributes and qualifications sound better than most of the committee chair's we have had.


Stop dwelling on your imperfections. Set-up monthly meetings send out the emails and do the best you can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

>>I think what pchadbo is looking for are suggestions on how to change the culture of a group from not getting involved, to feeling that everyone has a responsibility to do their fair share to make it work..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eagledad - I do agree that those type A personalities..


I was thinking about the personal ask.. Perhaps the type A personalities can do this successfully in a unit whose culture is currently to avoid work at all costs. Because people are convinced they can round up and persude others to help out also with their charm personality and smooze technics.


The personal ask will work with non-type A personalities if the culture is already in place that most everyone will help out in on form or another.


But, does the personal ask work when the culture is to avoid work at all costs and just dump everything on one unlucky soul, and the person who you dumped on is not a smoozer???.. The fear of all the other people is becoming the lonely dumpee??.. The personal ask means should you except, you may be the only other person stupid enough to allow everyone else to dump on you, then if the other person sneaks off, you will become the lonely dumpee..


Without the type A personality, wouldn't it be better to pull the group together and sell them as a group on the vision of the unit, and get people to step up together? Now rather then just doing a group ask, you can then go job by job and do a personal ask, such as we need a treasurer, John - your and accountant.. Would you be able to do that for us?.. And we need an Advancement Coordinator.. Mary you seem good with the computer, and I know you work 5 minutes from the store, so possibly could pick up awards after work.. This might be a great job for you!. But, don't you first need to get the group to feel they are not taking on the solo grunt job? You either need that personality A type, or you need the group as a whole to move together.. The "I will, if they will"..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...