Deputy Director

By John Reblin 

I have written in the past about the fact that I am not a major sports fan. Growing up I did not play competitive sports. My introduction to baseball, I think, was at about 5 years old, I remember my older brother putting me in front of the barn wall with a glove and he heaved a hard ball at me "to play catch." I still remember the ball smacking into the wall, sounding like an explosion. I never really played football, a few of us kids would get together and play maybe two on two three against three. Even now the "Little Flower" and I will meet a few friends for the Packer game at the bar, but for me it is more the social part of it. The game I will watch but the intricacies of it, the moves sometimes escape me. Baseball and football, to go to a game is fine, again more the social aspect, the tailgate party, spending time with friends, taking in the atmosphere but the game is just part of a group outing.

With my own family my daughter started running on a dare from a friend in high school. She chose sprinting to get a donut. Now she is a very competitive marathoner, along with bikes and rowing. My son did not have any interest in sports at all. But now in the military runs and works out because "he needs to stay in shape".

It may seem odd that I call athletes friends of mine. In my line of work, I run into some people that were, in the past, elite in their sport. In talking with them about their experiences they all mention the team work: doing things together, working as a team. They also bring up the comradery that they have enjoyed in the locker room and off the field.

Recently, I was talking to Bobby, part owner of a successful local club over a cup of coffee. Bobby stood out on high school and college football. He made a pro football team for a short time and I asked him his thoughts on the current state of sports today, the ups the downs and the future. And the part he kept going back to is football, baseball, whatever sport, it is always a team sport. You all need to work together, know how each of the members is supposed to and more importantly will react in each situation. It becomes a family on and off the field. He was disturbed that so many of the players he sees are more worried about themselves. Make and get credit for the tackle, what kind of dance, how do I turn the focus to me? That, he says is not the idea of the game, the idea is all the members working together obtaining a common goal. The team is not one player, it is a group of players trying to achieve one goal, to be the best the team can be. And each game, every win is another step in achieving the goal you all start out with, winning the championship. The conversation reminded me of our organization, how we work together towards common goals, always keeping it motorcycle specific.

In November we had our Executive Training again for all of ABATE of Wisconsin's Board members along with committee chairs and State Officers and the idea of this was for us to become that cohesive team. We want this board to be a team, working together to achieve the goals set by us and membership. The idea behind this executive training is that it's a way for us to get alone, go over some basics and learn each other's strength and weakness. We want this organization's leadership team to become stronger and better able to serve you the membership.

We want the board members and state officers to be involved. To make sure they understand they need to reach out to the regions, find out what the issues are and to bring them back to the board meetings. Every vote they cast should be that reflection. We all need to know where to turn when we have a question to get the correct answer. We don't need, usually, to reinvent the wheel but we need to exchange with each other what works, what doesn't work, and why. The regions need to be given support, nudging them here and there, again keeping the focus on motorcycle related issues. We also need to provide ways to deal with different issues that might come up.

We worked on our organizations Strategic Plan: our blueprint or roadmap of the direction this organization is going to get from point A to point B and how will know we when we are getting there (putting our realistic goals on paper.) What markers are we setting to achieve the goals? Are we limiting them by lack of creative fundraising, or are we not putting your money in the right place to achieve these goals? What are we doing right? What do we need to change? We didn't get done with the whole thing, but we got a very good start on it.

We want members of the board to be involved on the committee level along with the membership, bringing and sharing ideas to the committees: trying to make what we do easier and more effective.

And of course, we want to bolster our friendship. Working with people you know and trust makes our many meetings much simpler and enjoyable. By knowing more of everyone's background, you find different ideas that could make that answer to a problem sitting right next to you. We want our board to be a team along with our membership with one goal, that when we are out in public, when we are discussing a motorcycle issue we all have one goal in mind: WINNING.

Reblin, John. "Winning." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Dec. 2017.

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