The SAR Magazine

Summer 2018

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

Issue link: https://sar.epubxp.com/i/1019396

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The First Priority (The following are excerpts from President General Warren Alter's Installation Speech.) W hat should you expect from me as President General for the coming year? Perfection? I sure hope not because you will be sorely disappointed. A hard worker who believes in and supports SAR with his heart and soul?—yes. What have I learned in 20 years in the SAR? A lot, but mostly just how little I know. But I am a lifetime learner. I have been in leadership positions throughout my career in law enforcement, in other nonprofits and in SAR. The most important thing I have learned is that how successful you are as a leader is directly related to how approachable you are, how much you listen and how willing you are to see the issue from the other's point of view. It is often a matter of perspective. How many times have you and a friend discussed an event you saw and both of you saw something different? Neither one is lying; neither one is mistaken from their perspective, but neither one is entirely right. Both would argue that what they said was the truth and 100 percent accurate. A favorite author of mine, Steven Covey, has two quotes I love: "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply" and, "Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right." My point: Your members can make or break you, and almost all have a different perspective or view. We are an organization of volunteers. We need to treat each other and our staff with respect. I want to use a term I learned about here in Texas—but I have to be careful because it is trademarked, so I am giving credit to the originator, Texas A&M. It is the "12th Man." Now, I am certain all Texas A&M fans, and many sports enthusiasts, recognize the term. For others, a football team has 11 players on the field. The 12th man is the crowd, the fans, the supporters. They must be ready to run in and take over for an injured or failing player. They can make the difference between winning and losing. I want all our members, their families and their friends to be that 12th Man. At National, the general officers and staff both need the "fans' " support and help. If something is floundering or broken, can you help fix it? Can you offer assistance or suggestions to help save the day? Some of you heard about one such person earlier in our Congress meeting, former PG Nathan White. Texas had a failing chapter, down to two or three members. They were inactive, and nobody was willing to do anything to save it; the recommendation was to close the chapter. Nathan chose to be the 12th Man. He became the chapter president and helped rebuild the chapter. He ran in to not only save but build the chapter. That chapter now has more than 50 members, less than two years later. Districts, chapters and states can be the fan base, making the difference between success and failure. States, are you having difficulty filling offices or committees, the chapters, and members needed to be the 12th Man? Chapters, your members and potential members need to be the fan base. But it works both ways. The National Society, districts and state societies should support and be the fan base for the chapters, for their fellow states and districts, etc. We are in a symbiotic or interdependent relationship. We need to work together and support each other, not tear down and destroy. What can you do to make it better? Let us be each other's fan base, to offer solutions and help. The focus of my term will be improving the SAR and getting back to having fun and growing our organization by focusing on six areas: Communication, Membership Growth and Retention, Educational Outreach, Public Service Recognition, Veteran Recognition/Support, and Youth Awards and C.A.R. ITEM 1 – COMMUNICATION I want to improve communication at all levels. Do we have your email address? If not, please go on the member database and give it to us. Do we have the correct address? Currently, only about 65 percent of our members have an email address listed. Communication will include sharing information. Committee and officer reports will be available through Sharefile. Read them and learn about what we are doing. Committees need to meet and continue their work between Leadership and Congress meetings. I will regularly hold meetings or teleconferences with the Executive Committee, the General Officers and the VPGs. Communication also includes websites. Chapters, states and districts need to have up-to-date information on their websites. Each website should have a current calendar with upcoming events. Communication doesn't just include members; it also includes staff. I am going to work with the executive director and the team at headquarters to try and improve communication with our customers (you). But when dealing with staff, I also want to impress upon members that our staff does not report directly to you; they report to the executive director, who in turn reports to the PG. You may indeed make a request of staff, place an order or conduct regular business, but if there is a problem, no compatriot, chair or member of any level should treat staff with disrespect or anger. If you have a problem, contact Executive Director Don Shaw or a General Officer Liaison. Our team works hard. Let's make their job easier, not harder. ITEM 2 – MEMBERSHIP GROWTH AND RETENTION The Membership Committee, under the continuing leadership of Rev. Dr. Randy Moody of Florida, will continue to spearhead efforts toward membership growth and retention. PG Guzy challenged us to reach 64,000 members by 2026 and the 250th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and I will continue his efforts. Retention is an essential part of this project, and communication will help there, too. Mentoring is a critical element of retention. Take the time to talk to the new member. Make them aware of the programs and events your chapter is doing. Find out why they joined, what interested them. Invite them to come with you to an event. ITEM 3 – EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH Educational outreach plays a vital role for our organization. I strongly support all four parts of the educational mission that our Education Committee has identified and discussed at the Spring Leadership Meeting: Local Education Programs, National Education Programs, the Center for SUMMER 2018 3 Continued on page 5

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