Setting the Tone for a H.O.G.® Chapter

During my Directorship of First State Chapter from 2009 through 2011 I incorporated a team approach to decision making. Since I don’t carry the full burden of decison making you may wonder then: what is the role I play? What does a Director do in a team environment? There are many things I do most of which are routine tasks that could be delegated. Most people expect me to know the limits, rules, liability and laws that we have to follow and they rely on me to answer their questions on what we can and can not do. I am an information junky on these sorts of things and kind of enjoy that part of the job; but if I had to choose one key element of leadership that I can not delegate it would have to be “setting the tone”.

The mood, attitude and personality of the group as a whole is affected from the top down. If as the leader I came across as strict and set down a dozen rules and bylaws with penalities the group would take on the same persona. Everyone would become a bunch of cranky mizers, we would not be perceived as fun and our group would not grow. The chapter would become rigid and particpation would drop. Members would quit and the group would not floursih.

The most important thing I do is set the tone. When I am in the spotlight and all eyes are on me I impress upon the organization that our priority is on having fun in a responsible manner. We are welcoming to new people. Making everyone in the group feel special is of utmost importance. We treat everyone like family from the first day they walk in the door. No one is treated like a newbie. The chapter exists for the benefit of the members at large and to that extent the leaders are servents of the group. When the dealership provides dinner for the chapter Diana and I jump up and start serving out the food even though we haven’t had dinner yet and we don’t eat until the last H.O. G. is fed. That attitude of caring for each other and serving each other permeates the whole group and creates a positive environment for everyone. Being appreciative of the support from our sponsor, the participation of our members, the dedication and hard work of our volunteers, the time and effort taken by our officers and road captains is always recognized publicly and leads to greater support, dedication, hard work and participation. The end result is lots of fun for everyone who is receptive to the mantra: Ride and Have Fun!

I strive to set the tone for a responsible, fun loving, caring and appreciative organization that loves to ride their motorcycles. I hope that future leaders of First State and leaders of other H.O.G. Chapters and riding clubs read this and it leads to further success, happiness and participation worldwide.