Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

my non-profit work

I am proud to say that I am no LONGER the president of my local makerspace! While it was darn fun, and I learned some things, I did not want a third year. I chose not to run. I could have had a third year, then one more on the board as "immediate past president" but instead I'm just going straight to my past president role right now.

It was tiring, there were a lot of things I could have been doing but I was always sucked into makerspace things. At the head of any crazy controversy, always the one trying to talk somebody else off the ledge when they felt like quitting. And I'm still not sure if that was all time well spent. When someone wants to resign or run away should you promise to change and help them more, or just say good riddance? I spent so much time hearing people out. Just listening. Being the one to nod and be polite, even in times when I totally disagreed with everything they were saying about how cruel we are.

We got accused a lot of putting too much on our volunteers until they were burnt out and exhausted. And the way it was brought to me, a lot of them said "Well spending all this time would be okay if only I was assisted/appreciated/paid/insert something else here." My response was always to encourage delegation. When's the last time you asked for help or looked back and told us honestly what you couldn't get to? What are you doing to set your own limits? When you need a break, can you just tell us sorry guys, this thing won't happen, I need a break, and see who else fills in? No, so many volunteers would bemoan the fact they were needed, tell me they were tired, tell me they didn't have time, but they would NOT divide off a chunk of their tasks to teach someone else how to do it. "it's just too hard I have to do it myself but I need three months to do it."

I talked about the need to find your own balance and find your own reasons for your work, but I didn't always feel heard. Then again I got the feeling that people never listened to me the first 50 times I said something. After 200 times it kinda started sinking in with a few. Consistency has to go on a list of important leadership traits. People respect it. And hell from a balance situation... people won't come to you as often if they can predict what you're going to say, what you will and won't care about, right?

anyway, whenever I was feeling sick of the place, I usually just had to go make something. it's a makerspace, after all. I needed to spend a couple hours cutting shapes on the laser cutter, making boxes from woodshop scraps, sewing a bag. Now this month I re-learned the vinyl cutter. There are a few tools I need to re-learn.

I was interviewed for someone's school project about how to be a good community leader. She asked about my strengths and weaknesses. I listed...

Strengths: Enthusiasm, presentation skills.

Weaknesses: Getting sucked into leadership roles.

Pretty much sums it up. I've had quite a two year run.
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