The Continuing Daytime Soap Opera

John Richardson notes and amended complaint by Ack-Mac in their suit with NRA. What a mess this whole thing is. And John is right. We’ll be the ones paying the price. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my involvement with non-profit management, the following things are priorities, in order:

  1. Keep grifters away from money. Or for smaller organizations, don’t let financially distressed people assume positions of power if you can possibly help it. NRA is big enough, the pot is going to be temping for even a well-to-do grifter. For smaller outfits, you can help things by trying to promote people who have enough money that the smaller outfit’s funds aren’t enticing enough to be worth the trouble.
  2. Be wary of narcissistic assholes. Often they are hard workers and quite talented. But they are never worth the bullshit they are going to bring to the table.
  3. Cultivate a competent management team who will take projects and own them, and who you can count on to do things right. This is probably the hardest part, but it’s superseded by the other two. Don’t accept grifters and narcissists, even though they might help you. Honest hard workers are worth their weight in gold. That goes double if you’re not paying them.
  4. Everybody has an agenda. Know what agenda the people who are close to you really have. Be clear about your goals too.

Which of these things has Wayne and the NRA Board done right? How many violate all three of these “rules?”

6 Responses to “The Continuing Daytime Soap Opera”

  1. Andy B. says:

    Maybe this falls under “narcissistic assholes”, but, watch for people who just savor power for its own sake — i.e., “getting their way.”

    My experience was as president of a small but national shooting sports organization. I was blessed with a board and officers who were all altruistic self-starters. Things went more than smoothly.

    The next following president was a good guy, and competent, but skilled at manipulating us to implement ideas that only he liked. Most things implemented during his tenure were reversed almost as soon as he left office, with most of the board asking “Why in hell did we ever do that?”

    Fortunately the issues were petty, but had they been important, he could have created a disaster.
    I have to say, congratulations. You seem to be on your way to becoming a cynic after my own heart. Twenty more years and you should really have things wired. ;-)

  2. Dave says:

    +1 Andy B.
    I wasn’t going to use narcissistic assholes, but rather would caution about the Charlton Heston wannabe, presshound with delusions of grandeur ; keep them AWAY from the microphone and cameras !

    High profile spox need to be thoroughly vetted, and should not be given free rein or you’ll end up with Sasha Cohen punking you.

    • Andy B. says:

      “High profile spox need to be thoroughly vetted. . .”

      Friends of mine in another state knew and worked with Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers, during the Ron Paul for POTUS campaigns. That was before Rhodes created the OKs.

      They say they never would recognize the guy they know now, from the guy they knew then. They say it is like his own organization captured him and created a new personality for him.

      I guess my theme is, sometimes it’s hard to tell what someone will become once the spotlight is on them.

  3. Sebastian says:

    That’s a combination of 3 and 4, to me. Power can be someone’s agenda, and often times those types also have narcissistic tendencies.

  4. Richard says:

    Whenever an organization melts down like the NRA has done, the CEO needs to go away. No matter what the facts are on the original problem.

    • Andy B. says:

      That reminds me of a War Story: When I was in the Army one of my COs was relieved of his command (a career-killer for a lifer) because some NCOs and EM in our company were operating a scam, selling recoverable equipment as scrap and taking kickbacks from the buyers under the table. IMO the CO was the best we ever had, but the military attitude was that as commander he “should have known.”

      I’ll stipulate that there could be more to the story, that I didn’t know, but my point for now is, it appears military conventions and practice support what you’re saying.
      The last I knew my old CO was a County Judge in TX. He would never answer my emails, so I guess he didn’t want to make contacts with anyone who remembered he had been relieved of a command.