"Don't Tread On Me"(the words with the image of the coiled snake on the Gadsden Flag from the American Revolution) represented the desire for independence and controlled individualism back in the day.
Today, too, Fierce Members (FMs)* want to work and rework the system so that it runs better and provides the benefits FMs know the membership needs. Forget about the policies, what will it take to make an association meaningful (or relevant) - those are the issues the FMs worry about the most. And they want to be the ones to help solve that riddle.
Understand these fierce members and you'll have their loyalty to support your efforts.
In Part 1 of this blog post, I mentioned the importance of volunteering to the FM. Heaven forbid an association should squander the talents of an FM when they have volunteered and not appoint the member to a chance to be heard. Such an offense would equal betrayal in the FMs eyes when they know so much work that could and should be done!
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." -Albert Schweitzer
How to Turn Fierce Members Into Your Best Volunteers
- Find or create a place for them to do their work. Look for meaningful ways they can provide input and apply their unique skills to challenges and opportunities within your association.
- Never, I repeat, never fail to communicate directly with them and work to find a place for their services. This is an almost unforgivable offense in the mind of the Fierce Member.
- Say thanks and provide recognition. Don't ask for them to use their skills in "one-off" opportunities and then forget to shine the spotlight on them.
What are some other ways to turn FMs into your best volunteers? Please add your thoughts and have a great holiday!
*Fierce Members (FMs): A new breed of member who knowingly chooses to pay membership dues to belong to an association in spite fo the many free options available to them to network and build their careers without belonging to an association. These members are demanding because they want to get what they paid for and most often give something back to the organization for the people coming up behind them.