As I reflect on the past year and anticipate the New Year ahead, I am reminded about the lessons from the Christmas Classic, “The Polar Express.” It had a different meaning to me this year, so I decided to share my thoughts with you.
It does not matter what your USA Dance membership choice is or the position you hold. Whether it is a chapter member, chapter board member, district position holder, seat on a council, committee member, or leader on the executive board, we are all volunteers and decided to board the “USA Dance Express Train.”
I am sharing these thoughts with you because many of you volunteered in some capacity, so you already are on the train. But are you only along for the ride?
Let us use your membership as your “ticket” to ride. When your ticket was punched what did it say? Was it “Learn,” but you mistakenly thought it was “Lean”? Was it the triple ticket –“Depend On, Rely On, Count On”? Maybe your ticket was “Lead,” the blue-greyish metal, but it turned out to be “Lead,” as to show the way by going in advance. Or was it “Believe”?
Let’s break it down…
The first ticket — Lean: Are we leaning too much on what others will do, instead of embracing our own responsibility? Are we leaning in the past? The past is like a weak foundation, which may give way? Or are we learning from the past to re-build a solid foundation for the future? Are we leaning on the old ways of reaching membership?
Challenge: Let’s challenge others and ourselves to embrace our own future, rebuild the weak foundation, and look toward how we can grow USA Dance in the future.
Second half of the first ticket — Learn: Are we embracing the USA Dance mission? Are we taking the responsibility to search the National website for answers that other volunteers made accessible for all of us? Can we develop new habits and embrace a new attitude that allows for ways to conduct new business, new membership, and new growth? Will we look for opportunities to inspire and teach others?
Challenge: Let’s challenge others and ourselves to learn to speak the USA Dance language, learn to be positive about this organization, share testimonies, and tell the dance story. Let’s learn how to embrace new audiences, new technologies, social media, diversity, and each other.
The second ticket — Depend On, Rely On, Count On: Can others depend, rely and count on you? Are you keeping your commitment to your post? It does not matter if it is a volunteer position or not…your commitment is your word of service.
Challenge: Let’s challenge others and ourselves to be accountable and trustworthy.
The third ticket — Lead: Are you or your chapter toxic? Is the blue-grey metal poisoning you or your chapter? This includes negative attitudes; reluctance to change; blaming others for past, current, or future mistakes; and wishing to go back to the familiar.
Challenge: Let’s use the word “Lead,” as in showing the way? How do we lead our team? Provide a positive attitude, embrace change, take responsibility, and be the one someone can “Depend On, Rely On, Count On”?
This organization is different than many. There are no big profile attorneys or lobbyist, and no multimillion-dollar incentives or environmental agendas. This organization is based on concepts, ideas, a vision, and a mission to encourage talent and dreams, get the world dancing, and share the motion and expression of the art of dance.
The fourth ticket – Believe: Do you believe in your leadership, your commitment, your talent, your passion, your art, your expression, and the vision? What is holding you back?
Challenge: Believe in yourself and then believe in something bigger than yourself. Believe in your talent, your passion, your art, and the vision. Let us rewrite our future. What can we accomplishment if we ALL just believe?
What will your ticket say? I hope this analogy will inspire you to be all you can, in every part you play within the 2022 USA Dance family.