Monthly Archives: April 2007

I Was Watching the Wrong Channel?

Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minneapolis miniMinneapolis was made famous in the 1970s thanks to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. As a tribute, a statue of Mary Tyler Moore was placed in front of the Macy’s store on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

The statue was only a few blocks from my hotel, so I decided to check it out. The statue has Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air with a quote from the theme song engraved on the base. (See photo.)

I know I was alive when the show ran. I can even sing an off-key rendition of the theme song. However, I did not have a lot of memory about show details.

When I shared my photo with a few people it came out that I didn’t remember much about the series. One woman took offense at my memory gap – and surprisingly got quite loud as she “talked” to me about it.

Mary Tyler Moore was just a TV show and I was just a kid when the series ran!

Anyhow, the woman’s frustrated outburst made me think about being a chapter member…

Are there some things you assume ALL members know – after all it’s your heritage, defining moment, record-breaking experience, major stretch, etc that happened a few (many) years ago?

How do you make sure all your members know the important stuff about your chapter? 

My Curiosity was Activated…

Hell’s KitchenWhen the taxi dropped me off at my hotel last night, I looked across the street and saw a sign promoting Hell’s Kitchen being around the corner. (I didn’t think Minneapolis was as radical as the Hell’s Kitchen area in New York City!)

I asked the doorman about the restaurant and he assured me they had good food.

So I was intrigued…

I didn’t have to speak until 10:30 AM this morning – and honestly, am sort of tired of hotel breakfasts. I decided to check out Hell’s Kitchen – and am glad I did.

The restaurant is located in a historical building. The owners have done a wonderful job of weaving their theme throughout the restaurant – even to the details like offering Hot Tamales candy instead of mints at the hostess stand. The floors of the bathroom were painted with gray effects so it seemed like I was walking on the remains of coals.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the menu and discovered that Hell’s Kitchen was actually a foodie-type restaurant!  (Think you’re a foodie? Take the quiz.)

The offerings were rather gourmet and I had a hard time deciding what to choose – so many sounded good! My waiter, in a black t-shirt of course, was eager to help guide me through the menu.

As I finished up my scrumptious breakfast, I started to work out my schedule for tomorrow in my head. If the place opens at 6:30 AM would I have time for one more meal and still catch my plane…

Made me think about chapters… I eat out all the time and the food often seems the same no matter what city I am in – especially breakfast.

If I had been told about a breakfast place a block over, I probably would not have made the effort. However, the name of the restaurant and crazy decor was the tipping point to inspire me to take the adventure.

How do you design your chapter programs to be irresistible for members?  Have you used theme-based meetings to drive up attendance?

Are We Leaving Yet?

Raindrop wanting to leaveOne of Raindrop’s favorite adventures is to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. She loves my folks – especially my dad! 

Today, I had to fly out to Minneapolis and James had some big meetings coming up. To help out, my mom had suggested she and Dad babysit Raindrop for a day or two.

We took Mom up on the offer.

This morning, I got up early to finish up some work on my computer. Somehow, Raindrop knew she was going on a trip with us.

I ignored Raindrop’s vocal complaints that I was too slow.

Raindrop took the matters to the next level and tried to knock my computer out of my lap – it was time to go!  (You see her peering at me trying to urge me to type faster.)

About ten minutes before I was ready to leave for the airport, James packed Raindrop’s special travel bag – it’s a pretty red metallic gift bag filled with the food she would need while at my parent’s house.

Upon seeing her bag, Raindrop was 100% convinced she knew where she was going – and could not wait to leave!

She kept running back to where I was packing to urge me to go faster.

Finally we left. Raindrop was so focused about getting to Grandpa’s she didn’t bother to bark at a dog we drove past. Very unusual for her!

James and I laughed about Raindrop’s crazy antics and eagerness to see my parents.

Made me think about being a leader… Are there people in your chapter extremely excited about something you now take for granted? Perhaps speaking in front of all your members – or attending the big chapter event?

How do you support your members when they get as excited (and odd acting) as Raindrop did today?

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