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Membership Minute: That ugly word: Change

By Rusty Hunt, National Leadership/Membership Director (The New Grange September/October 2011)

  OCTOBER 12, 2011 --

Many of us have had multiple jobs in the Grange. I like it when you can talk to Grangers and they say, “I have held every office in the Grange I can legally hold.” 

That means that they have moved around the chairs and can speak a little about each office from their experience. 

I know that my year as lecturer for St. Andrews Grange was a very long year for the members there. But I can say I did it. 

I have served in six different offices in my community Grange, five at the Pomona level and five at the state level. 

Each has given me a new perspective of the Grange and I can honestly say that I learned something with each new office. 

My peers promoted to these new positions. But once I reached the Master’s position there were no further heights to aspire to. Once my term as Master was up, I have moved around to other offices. 

But my view on the Master and how the new Master does the job has changed. 

I now understand what the Master’s job entails and have much more respect. I’m much more patient with the Master than I was before. 

You see, the change was not only the job I was doing, but there was a change in me for the new person that took my old job. 

I believe that both kinds of change are good and we need to have both kinds of change in order for us to stay fresh and grow with the times. 

We have to learn to adapt with the times and try new things. By allowing other folks the opportunity to step into leadership roles, we will always have new fresh ideas to discuss.

I was told a long time ago by one of my athletic coaches that the team would fill the hole of my position if I wasn’t able to be there. 

He gave me a very good example of this, by having me put my hand in a bucket of water, make a fist, then pull it out and tell him how big the hole was in the bucket of water. 

The coach’s words and his example made an impression on me that I have never forgotten. That may have been the first, of what is now, many times that I was humbled. 

He made it loud and clear that no one person is better than the team and that the team that holds together like that water in the bucket will fill any size hole. 

I have taken this lesson with me through life and can now apply it to other teams, like Grange teams. 

Good officers come and they go. 

Sometimes it is not always crystal clear who the replacement will be. 

It will be different for sure. Not everyone is the same and we all have different ways of doing things, but one thing always stays the same and that is the Grange. 

It has the same rules and edicts. 

If we are doing all the founding fathers have set up for us in the order, like have a full slate of officers, there are always capable members to step up. 

Now they may not be as experienced as the old officer, and they will not do things the same way, but they are capable. 

It is up to us, the rest of the team, to help fill in around the new team member and work together for future success. 

As many of you have already heard, I have resigned, effective Sept. 30, as the National Grange Membership/Leadership development Director. 

I feel very confident that the team known as the National Grange staff and Directors will help fill in very nicely around whoever the next director should be. 

I will do my best to pass along my experiences and knowledge of the past to help the new director succeed in the future. 

I would like to thank all of you for supporting me, giving me a room for the night and teaching me about your Grange and your State. 

I am a better Granger and person because of all of you.

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