Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Answer: Be the Bad Guy!

"How do other leaders deal with members who always RSVP and pay for events late?"

Ring! It's a another sign up after you have already turned in the final count. You let a little exasperation show in your voice as you make promises to work them in. They apologize, but you know they will do it again. What can you do to relieve the stress and extra work? Here's our best advice.

1. Communicate your deadline well – Make sure you give your members plenty of advance notice of any deadlines, especially anything that’s going to cost. Communicate the details and deadlines through several different mediums, such as in your newsletter, during meeting announcements, and by e-mail.

2. Set it and forget it – Set your deadline and don’t doubt yourself. If you ask for an RSVP, then it is reasonable to expect members to make a quick phone call or drop a short email to let you know they’re coming.

3. Stand your ground – Be willing to be the bad guy and say no to those who want to sign up late or don’t deal well with boundaries. Whatever level of excellence you expect of your members is what they are going to rise to over time.

4. Retrain the brain – Leave your members options as you retrain them to RSVP or to pay on time. For example, they are welcome to pay late, but it will cost extra. In doing so, you are rewarding those members who faithfully pay on time.

5. Mercy has its place – There is a time and a season for everything. And there is a time to stand your ground, and there is a time to extend a deadline. If you discern extenuating circumstances or feel mercy is the best call, then don’t hesitate to make an exception. Even bad guys have a soft side.

Here’s a secret to leadership success. If you set your deadlines a couple of days earlier than you really need to, then when you get those late calls, you always get to say yes and be the good guy.

Christmas blessings,

Denise & Kristen

1 comment:

christinethecurious said...

I blogged about how not to do this at

but we had a happy ending.