By Gayle Carline
Mystery Author and El Presidente
Back when I was a software engineer, I took a course in leadership. It was a fabulous course, not just for my engineering job, but for my life. One of the highlights was when the instructor told us that everyone listens to the same radio station, WII-FM.
What's In It For Me?
She was using this to talk about how to get what you want, as the supervisor, by giving your employees what they want. It's also known as the win-win situation.
I'm bringing this up because I recently agreed to be next year's president of my local Sisters in Crime. I originally joined when I first published Freezer Burn and thought I should belong to an organization whose mission is to promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.
I admit, my first visit to a meeting was less than stellar. I hadn't quite gotten my bearings as an author, was unsure of my participation, and ended up not meeting many people or making any new friends. I didn't go back.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and I decided to give it another try. At this meeting, they were looking for new board members. I wanted to meet people and become involved. Why not be on the board?
Here's the thing: it's a quiet group. The folks are pleasant. We have interesting guest speakers. But I'm not certain if that's all we can do with this organization. I mean, my gal pal Tameri belongs to the Romance Writers of America and those folks know how to party and promote. They have huge conferences. And pajama parties. And guest speakers in kilts.
So one of the things I plan to do as president is take a poll or two to figure out why people come or don't come to the meetings. What's in it for them?
If I can figure out what they want and give it to them, perhaps I can get what I want, which is, well, two things: I want more readers, and I want to promote good writers.
Anybody else out there belong to an organization like SinC or Mystery Writers of America, etc? What do you want from your group? Do you receive it?