Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Eventful Evening for the IWS

Or at least for me.

I had announced way back in February my plans to step down as the president of the Indiana Wind Symphony at the end of the season. The end of our regular season came and went with our May concert, and I didn't relinquish my post. The summer season started, and we made a big push to expand the size of the board, and I still remained at its head. The summer season ended, we had built the board up to 12 people (probably the largest it had ever been), and I still hadn't stepped down.

But last night, September 29, 2010, I made it official and abdicated my post.

I couldn't remember how long ago I had been voted in, so I looked back and found this post from September 20, 2006, noting the beginning of my term. Completely by accident, my tenure as president of the IWS had lasted just over the "presidential standard" of four years. It couldn't have worked out more mathematically.

I had decided to step down last February basically because I was getting tired. My responsibilities with the IWS have grown over the years -- creating the concert programs, building visual presentations for three or four concerts a season, running the board meetings, reporting to the band . . . oh, and playing. (It is, after all, a band.) It was getting to be too much. I was forgetting things, and not giving enough focus to any single project.

Most of those responsibilities involved a lot of creativity, which I love -- and didn't want to give up. After a little reflection, I realized that all the noncreative responsibilities were linked to my position as president. So the decision to give that up wasn't all that difficult. In theory.

But actually giving up the position didn't turn out to be so simple. We didn't really have anyone else on the board who was a strong leader and who I thought could be as dedicated to the position as I would want.

Or at least that's the excuse I told myself.

In truth, I had established a certain sense of comfort and regularity. I had just gotten used to my position. And I'm sure there was a certain sense of power there that was, well, addicting. Addicting like salt, not like meth. It does feel good to have people defer to you, to accept your opinion as an "official decision."

So I was essentially split: a part of me looked forward to surrendering those headaches and travails, and the other part didn't want to rock the boat that I had gotten so comfortable floating around in.

But some big changes are coming to the IWS this year. The biggest by far is that we're trying to hire a director of development -- the band's first paid position. That employee will report directly to the IWS president, adding a new managerial element to the position.

I have all of zero management experience. And I don't want any. We do have a few people on the board with managerial background, who can certainly do that part of the job better than I could. With the evolution of the president's position into areas I was uncomfortable with, and with an expanded board with new and useful skill sets, it became much easier for me to give up the post.

And so now I have.

And I miss it already. But I'll get over it.

And I'll still have plenty of things to do with and for the band -- but now I can focus on them better. Starting first with talking to a marketing rep from WIBC. Keep your ear on the radio and listen for us!

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