Egos and Personalities in Clubs


Staff member

"Egonomics" Studies the Cost of Allowing Egos to Rule Your Recreation.

By Del Albright

I have coined the term "Egonomics" to shed light on the cost of letting egos and personalities rule your recreation, and possibly ruin it.

Is your club ticked off at a neighboring club? Are you drifting away from your club or association because of the behavior of a few folks? Do you find yourself attending fewer club/group meetings these days? Do you feel like your opinion does not count? Are you tired of the politics and clicks in your club? In other words, do personalities and egos rule your recreation?

Now do not get me wrong. Most all off-pavement motorized recreation have egos. Usually that means we get things done; we can lead projects or efforts; and we step up to help clubs and groups grow. But then on the other hand, all too often egos and personalities become the deciding factor in too many things.

But too often we give up on a club or group because of a personality. Or a click of strong egos. The better approach is to fix the problem. With the three main tips for getting to the bottom of this: Find Out; Focus; and Facilitate, summarized here.

STEP 1: Find Out. The first thing to do is find out why clubs have problems -- to recognize and accept the fact that we are people and we have shortfalls, as well as personalities. Learn to accept the basic fact that we are not all poured from the same mold. In stead, find ways to understand and make better use of our differences. But that comes from first finding out (identifying) just what causes our club problems.

STEP 2: Focus. Next, focus on the issue or problem, not the personalities. Learn to separate a problem from the person who seems to be causing it. Lay the problem on the table, dissect it and figure out how to put it back together in better shape than when you started. Enlist the help of the person you think is responsible for the issue, if possible. Get them to become part of the solution. But whatever you do, learn to address the issue, not the person or personality. It’s not Joe that is causing the club to drift apart; it’s something Joe is doing – his behavior. That is what we must focus on – the behavior that needs changing.

STEP 3: Facilitate. Facilitation is a skill every leader or club activist should develop to some level. To facilitate means to make things easier – to lessen the resistance; to smooth the path. In clubs and groups it means finding ways to help people help them selves.

Once you find out what is really the issue, and you focus on that issue, you then begin to facilitate a resolution. In volunteer organizations there is seldom a rank structure (like the military), so we must learn to ease the resistance and smooth the path with facilitation skills and techniques.

Before you walk away, please make sure you have done and tried all you can to fix the problem. We need clubs, groups and associations fighting for us and our rights/freedoms.
Great stuff Del, and thanks I still use the info you gave me at a meeting we had several months ago probably why our club is growing and functional.
Thank you for the enlightenment Del. As someone who has spent over a decade building an off road Club/Community and faced several “competitors,” it’s refreshing to be humbled and reminded what we are here for.