Our Eagles are becoming quite good at governing themselves, and even passing on institutional knowledge, the glue of history that makes sure we don’t have to constantly reinvent wisdom.
Below is our past Council’s advice to the incoming Council. Our public servants in Austin and Washington D.C. certainly could learn a few things from our Eagles:
Biggest lessons learned:
You can’t always make everyone happy and you can’t just make the popular decision. You have to make the decision that is best for the class.
I learned that being a good leader takes a lot of time and work.
The council this year is ten times harder than last year.
What I’d do differently:
I would stand out as a leader more and make sure that I was heard.
I will try to address problems as soon as they come up.
Praise more people.
Advice for new council:
Don’t always make the “popular” decision even if it’s what people want.
Don’t waste your time. If one person is complaining about something stupid, don’t spend 30 minutes of talking to work it out. Just say, “We have made our decision about this and that’s final.”
Don’t get hot-headed.
You can’t make everyone happy so do what’s best for the class.
Have a specific agenda for Town Hall Meetings, and whatever you do, do not “open a topic for discussion.” You will eventually have to end it after it has crunched half your time and you’ve gained nothing, and then everyone will be mad, because they’d be perfectly fine with discussing all day, even if we never came to a conclusion.
Always have meetings for every subject.
Sometimes setting an example is better than speaking directly to someone. Monkey see, monkey do.
Keep appeals short. Listen to both sides of the story (from the people who were actually involved, NOT random onlookers,) make a ruling, and let them know that that’s final. If they keep bugging you, ask them for an Eagle Buck.
Never talk during town meetings unless specifying something.