Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Leadership Vs. Dictatorship

There is a difference! Leaders work with others--they encourage participation, they listen to other’s ideas, they build cohesiveness.

Dictators are only interested in doing things their own way. They make all the decisions, they shut others out, they work by being divisive.

Leadership shows up in all sorts of ways.
Take the BAKG web page.
Ask your self (or madam president)
Why? Why does the BAKG have a web page?

Her answer (if she doesn’t just stare at you lips tightly sealed!) is because. Because why?
No doubt if pressed, she'll its because we have to have a web page. Everyone has a web page. Its important to be one the web. In other words, she has no idea.

It's really not a fair question, since many people madam presidents age don’t really use the web or understand how to use it. Its even hard for the Pip, since the web is growing and changing so fast, and usefulness changes by the day.

Still there are some things the web and web pages are useful for:
Web pages can function like brochures, and provide basic information

  • Web pages can function like stores and sell things
  • Web pages can be informational resources like libraries
  • Web pages can be interactive like person to person meetings
  • Web pages can be like snap shots, and show a single image of something

      So how does the BAKG page measure up?
      Well until this year when we got a new webmaster, its was pretty unchanging.
      It functioned as a snap shot of the BAKG from about 2002. Nice picture, but like an organization, the BAKG is not the same as it was in 2002.
      (nor should it be, it should be growing!)
      A snap shot is nice.. But it becomes dated quickly.

      The web master has been busy doing a good job cleaning up old out dated links and making all the links look better, and work better, but its not a web masters job (well it could be, but its not in the BAKG) to define the purpose of the Web page.

    1. What do the Members want it to be? I dunno. But then, neither does Madam President, because she never asks.

      I know some of the things I like it to be. And I bet, there are plenty of ideas besides mine.

      First I would like the BAKG to be current.
      If the page is going to have photo’s, they should be current photo’s.
      Why aren’t there any? Madam president often brings piles of snap shots she has taken at the retreat or the luncheons, but these never make to the BAKG web page?
      Why not? Back in the last century, in the early 1990’s, the discovered you could get digital images when ever you developed a stand roll of film. Back then, the digital images were a few $’s extra, now days, they are often free.
      Why doesn’t Madam president get digital images as well as snap shots?
      Certainly, the BAKG could pay what ever extra it cost to get the digital images.
      Maybe even pay for the film, and developing too, and then the BAKG would own the images! I think that’s fair. And maybe it should be Madam presidents job.

      Maybe she should find a photographer in the guild. I bet there are members who would be willing to take digital photo's for the web and CityPurls.

      But that's not what happens. What happens is, Madam President takes photo’s, gets hard copies, and while she sometimes shares them, they end up in her living room, not in the CityPurl or on the web page. Old fashioned photographic images are useful, but digital files that can be shares are infinitely more useful.

      Madam president doesn’t have to be a computer wiz kid to get a CD made as she develops her photographs, all she needs to do is check off a box.
      Having current photo images (and not images from 4 years ago!) would help the web page. If the web page going to function merely as photo book, at least it should be an up to date photo book.

      But why stop at that? Why not make it an interactive page?

      • Why can’t people who visit the page join the BAKG on line, using PayPal?
      • Why can’t members and visitors sign up for classes and workshop the same way?
      • Why can members and visitor register for the Retreat on line?

      Its not hard to get web pages to do this.
      The web master can’t make all these changes (well, actually she could if she chose to act like a dictator, but she doesn’t) on her own. The Executive board exist to provide leadership. But if the board doesn’t meet, then the business of the club becomes the decision of a single member-- the current dictator, Madam President, and she isn't able or willing understand what a web page can be, and why is should be more than a snap shot.
      Madam president announced back in May that a contract has been signed to have a retreat next year. She announced who the instructors would be. DO you know? Does anyone know? Why not? Why isn’t this information on our Web page?
      The BAKG web page only has information about the 2006 retreat --not the 2007 retreat.
      (and there are no photo images of the 2005 retreat to be seen anywhere--not in CityPurls, not on, not on the Yahoo site.)

      The reason Why? Well, partly because the web master, is not a mind reader.
      If Madam president make decisions, and sign contracts and does it all her self, with out the board, well, its all in her head. And not on the web page.

      But what is the Program chairperson doing? Shouldn’t some of this be the programs chair job? Isn’t part of being president working with others, giving them responsibility, developing their leadership? When madam president acts as madam Dictator, (poor Claire, burdened with every job, doing it all, with no help and not a lick of thanks!) she undermines the entire leadership of the organization.

      And unless the Dictator knows everything, about everything, the are bound to do a poor job.

      The program chair should be involved with planning the retreat, and part of that job should be getting information, by hook or by crook, to the web master, who can then add the information to the BAKG web page. The information should just be on the web page.
      It should be out there, on every SnB group page, on Crafterster and other TKGA and every other knitting BB-- there are lots of knitters who’d love to come to a knitting retreat in NY. We should be turning knitters away, not canceling classes as we did this year because of the poor response.

      But that is not likely to happen. The old retreat information will hang out on the BAKG page, old, dated information, until a few weeks before the next retreat. Then the information will be mailed out, to the members. And finally, the webmaster will be able to post it, (after she retypes it in, since chances are it won’t come to her in electronic format)
      And the BAKG web page will continue to be tired, dated sort of scrap book. And the BAKG will shrink a bit more.


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