“to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command”
Control is a very strong word. All “A type” personalities have this carved out of stone and hanging on their walls. It is amazing when we get it and the world comes to an end when we lose it. Its why people want to be King. Many have lost their pride and even lives trying to obtain it. When the right people have it, it is heavenly and everything turns out great. When it falls into the hands of the wrong people, life is over for some. It is complete and utter Hell on earth.
We run the gamut with guys who either love or hate control. Guys who desire it and guys who want nothing to do with it. And we have all been in places in life where we have experienced a time of dealing with the good and bad people who are in control.
Why is it such a big deal? How do we deal with it? How do we overcome these situations?
Very often we are so concerned with the actions of others and what is going on around us, inside our ranks that our focus completely is taken off of us. We can’t control others. We can’t control actions, attitudes, what is done, what is said, etc. We can’t control personality conflicts, the people that we like nor the people we can’t stand. But what we can control is ME. I can control me. I can control what I do and what I say. I can control how I think and act. Me. That is all.
I’ll never forget one time I went to a conference and heard an African-American preacher, Tony Evans speak. Man it was powerful. I had never thought of this before. I can’t remember the exact words he used and the illustrations, but I give him credit for the idea and I will adapt it to our situation here.
We all in our clubs want a better chapter. We want to be the best where we are. In our area. We want other clubs to know that we are legit. We want them to know that we are not a “fly by night” group of guys that are just “wanna-be’s”, we are a family. A group of guys who have something in common and have a common goal or interest. We want to be known by our community that we do good things. We raise money for those in need. We give. We protect. We are not the same as those on the other side of the fence who deal and destroy. It is where we live. We want that. We want to be known in our state. We want people to see us riding in formation and say, “there they are. I’ve heard of them.” We want to be recognized. Its our state. We don’t claim territory but we feel it is ours. We want to be the best out there. We want it to make waves in our club. We want to be known as the one that is doing things, going places, growing, and building up our club all around the nation. Even beyond that, we want to show the world how awesome we are. That’s what makes us attractive. We want to have legitimacy in the world. Other nations have clubs. We desire that reputation of legitimacy among the other clubs around the world. So…if you want your club known around the world for being that club that is good, does things right, upholds the law, stands for justice…If you want your country to get to know you and recognizes your cut everywhere and knows what it stands for…if you want to ride in your state and have others smile upon seeing you and knowing that what you represent is honor, loyalty and respect…if you want your community to hold you in high regard for the things you do and when they see your patch around town they believe and understand what it signifies…if you want your chapter to be the best, to be the one that sets the bar for the rest of your club…it starts with YOU. You have to decide to do what is right and just. Make the right decisions in every situation. Learn that the bigger you become the more personalities will come into play. The more patient you will have to become. The more you will have to understand what family problems will need to be helped and addressed. The more you will have to love and care. It all starts with ME. I am the only person I can control. But if we are going to move in the right direction and be what our club needs to be, it’s going to have to start with me.
I have dealt with so many different chapters in pretty much all of the states in the U.S. and chapters overseas. But most of all I have dealt with mine and the ones in my state. For a few years we were the only chapter in our club in our state. Then we add another, then another. When we were small starting out we had zero problems. None. We were so overcome with enthusiasm and excitement that there was no room in any of our lives for drama or problems. Then there were two chapters. Then three. Then four. What now? Chapters are run by different guys with different views of their direction, in different areas of the state. Their chapters were made up of different personalities than I had with different mood swings with different wives and kids.
It became different.
But we all got along. That was our goal and determination from the beginning. No drama. We would not have it or put up with it. If something came along and there was a disagreement or a conflict of some kind we met immediately and squashed it. Then we all slapped leather and called each other brother. That part never changed.
But in other states, that was not the case.
We had men who were the “first” in their state to start their chapters up. They believed they were the top dogs. They believed they were the runs whom everyone else in the state answered to. They believed that they “ran” their chapters in their states. Yes, that was stated to me over the phone one day. My response was “you what?” which was quickly followed by “Sorry bro. We don’t run things like that here.” “Apparently you don’t know how we run this state. We have done this since the beginning.” “Apparently I don’t know how you run your state. But I do know what our By-Laws state and you are not following them.” And then we had another state who had patched over multiple chapters to our club at one time. They brought their problems with them. One chapter was bigger than the others and wanted control over the others. They flung their weight around at Presidents meetings and events. Neither one of these situations were healthy to our club. They both were detrimental to our club and ended up with several good guys leaving the club for various reasons.
Pride. Control. Power.
If your focus is on one of these three things, then your focus is not on the good of the club as a whole. That should be your ultimate goal. Every decision you make for yourself, for your chapter, should have an ultimate end of the “good of the club.” If every chapter thought that way, then chapters would be more healthy and the club would become more healthy.
So what means more to you? Yourself? or the Club? Are you a control freak? Or do you serve under one? It happens all the time and it’s a cancer that we all have to live with. It’s killing clubs slowly around the world. There is a cure. But we have to change our minds and attitudes to receive it. Healing starts with you. It starts with me.