Booster Clubs: We Don’t Fear Change, It’s the Transition that Scares Us

by Michael Walsh on May 16, 2018

Change is a word that strikes fear in our hearts and causes many to cringe at what it could mean. In the words of Coach Boone, played by Denzel Washington in the movie Remember the Titans, as he takes his team through conditioning drills at the beginning of their team camp he says, "Everything we're gonna do is changing. We are change. We're gonna change the way we run. We're gonna change the way we eat. We're gonna change the way we block. We're gonna change the way we tackle. We're gonna change the way we win." It is a powerful scene that depicts an organization going through a complete transformation that eventually leads to a state championship. Not only did the movie depict a complete change on the Titan football team, but also portrayed the deeper socio-racial level of change that was occurring in America during that time period, which has made this film, with transition at its core, one of the greatest sports movies of all time.

Do we fear change? I would argue that we do not fear change, but rather, fear the transition that is required for that change to occur. Everyone wants to lose weight. Everyone wants to see that 10-20 lb. change, but that transition to getting there is what really gives us anxiety. Everyone wants a raise or promotion, but it's that transition of time, hard work, learning, and execution to get there that we're not too thrilled about. Everyone wants to be part of a winning and successful program...whether you are a participant, coach, parent or supporter...but what inevitably stands in the way between you and that promised land, staring you squarely in the eye is transition. The support necessary, the talent, the coaching, the strategy, the resources, the time...and getting all these moving parts to work together at the highest level, year after year...seems to be a heavy line to toe.

But at any level, including and especially in high school, the programs that are successful are the programs that embrace transition, which allows change to occur quicker and more frequently than the competition. Another constant in successful organizations is a leader with vision. A visionary who is at the helm directing programs and inviting and implementing transition to induce change creates a successful organization. The quintessential, go-to example of a visionary, innovative and transition-focused company is Apple Inc. and their late leader, Steve Jobs. When Apple launched their first generation iPod, their product design and functionality were revolutionary. What Apple could have done was rake in the profits from their first iPod and become complacent, but instead of waiting for the competition to catch up, they released their second and third upgraded iPods before their competition could come close to the first. What Apple and Jobs did and continues to do is embrace transition that leads to successful change...a principle from which we are still seeing the effects today.

In the words of Winston Churchill, "To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often." ADs, coaches, and booster club board members are equally as affected by the principles of change and transition. If you consider yourself a visionary...if you strive to hold on to things that work well and constantly tweak and change the processes that don't do so well...if you embrace transition...then you should consider our process at Better Booster Clubs. Not only does the better booster club process maximize fundraising, but it also builds programs for sustainable success through cultivating relationships with alumni and their parents, and feeder program participants and their parents. We also have a database engineered specifically for booster clubs that is able to easily and efficiently contact, track, and communicate with these key relationships, and as you are probably thinking right now, the more contacts that you have with each passing year, the more financial and school support you will receive along with the far-reaching culture that you will be forming. But this process is not for everyone...many AD's, coaches, and booster boards are happy enough with their first generation iPod and living a life of "getting by" when it comes to their programs and booster clubs. It takes a person with takes an individual who embraces transition and is tired of waste from a time, energy, talent and financial perspective. Sooner or later there will be a time when mediocrity won't cut it anymore and someone in the organization will have a deep desire to change and will find the courage to hire or become a Coach Boone or Steve Jobs...and transition.


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