2006-04/Apr Larry McCulloch asks board to reconsider their position on mediation

From: Larry McCulloch
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 2:34 PM
To: board@krfcfm.org; gm@krfcfm.org; beth@krfcfm.org
Cc: Larry McCulloch Subject: Open letter to the KRFC Board

Letter to the Board of KRFC,

I want to express to you my thanks for your hard work and dedication to home grown radio in Fort Collins. I am a multi-year member and contributor, but have not been a volunteer or participated in KRFC activities before. However, I was on your mailing list for input to the recent vision statement revision. I watched with interest and excitement and felt that the inputs I saw being made adequately covered my inputs, so I chose not to participate. However, I feel that there is a significant disconnect between the inputs and the resulting Board chosen outcome. Because of this I signed a petition to ensure another round of discussion, only to learn that discussion has been terminated and long serving and valued volunteers are being "terminated".

I remain gravely concerned for the viability and longevity of KRFC and your ability to openly and appropriately serve Fort Collins. I have 30 years of leadership experience, much of it at executive levels, in addition to many years of service, including Board experience, within non-profit organizations. I would like to offer the following insights to the Board. My intent is to offer the benefit of my experience to you.

First, your volunteers make ALL the difference in your long term viability. Recent actions not only have rejected long serving and dedicated volunteers in a spectacularly rude manner, but, even more importantly, will also stifle initiative and creativity among your remaining volunteers. I fear we will suffer long term deleterious effects due to the increased fear and uncertainty among all current and future volunteers. You are changing the culture of KRFC and I perceive the risks to be huge, and I am fearful your actions are damaging KRFC.

Secondly, when a leadership team like the Board rejects input, severs communication links, and works to exclude dedicated and committed individuals, it is NEVER the fault of those offering the input, time and talent to you. The issue lies with the leaders, because you retain the power to set the policy, model standards and determine the level of openness for the organization. It is a failure to lead with confidence and maturity, listening always to feedback and moving the organization in a direction consistent with its mission and vision. It is always easier in the short term and quite often disastrous in the long term to proceed as I perceive you are. One of the most common errors is to demonize the different perspectives and to come to believe that those with a different perspective are somehow sinister. To be effective leaders you must make just the opposite assumption; you must believe that volunteers are committed and dedicated to a common view with large congruence to your perspective and that they are motivated to do the best possible job they can do to further that common vision. Taking this perspective means you can engage in constructive dialog and will not be moved to expel what you perceive incorrectly to be sinister and threatening. Organizations have a collective "emotional intelligence" that reflects its leaders, and when the EQ is high, the leadership team is not threatened by differing points of view, and can move the organization to thrive and grow with the synergistic energy coming from open dialog and compromise. I remain highly concerned about the future of KRFC, and I can assure you that this disruption you are experiencing now will not go away unless you act constructively as leaders.

I would ask you to reconsider your position to close discussion. Please consider mediation or other facilitated conversation approaches. The viability and health of your ongoing volunteer base is at stake. Please accept these inputs from a previously uninvolved but experienced person that has the future vitality of KRFC as my primary objective. I believe you have the best interests of KRFC at the core, and would ask you to enact a mid-course correction from your recent path. If I can be of help in some way, please call me at 223-3418. I have chosen to withhold additional contributions requested by your recent letter until my membership comes up for renewal in September, at which time I hope I will be able to congratulate you on your enlightened leadership and continue to make substantial contributions.

Sincerely, and in peace,
Larry McCulloch