Believe it or not, this blog post has been sitting in my draft section since I began writing here. I’m not sure why this message kept getting overshadowed by other topics, but I think it is just so fundamental a concept that it’s hard to get down into words. This week, I’m finally giving it a shot.
See a need, fill a need.
As a parent of two young children, I often find a good deal of ideological inspiration in kids’ movies. One of these is the 2005 animated movie, “Robots.” “See A Need, Fill A Need” is something Bigweld—a charismatic master inventor and CEO—says that inspires the main character to invent new technology as well as help fellow robots. In short, don’t wait for someone to give you the go ahead to do something (sometimes you should ask, like before renumbering tables or something that will have wide impact to an event). Generally, if you see something that needs to be done, either in your community or during an event, DO IT. Make the change. Start the judge class. Plan a mini conference. What’s the worst that happens? You fail? You’ll learn way more from failing than from never trying, and if you pay attention you usually can identify if something isn’t working and start asking for or bringing in help.
When I first began judging, I was very hesitant to reach out and start a project of any kind, because surely someone, somewhere, was already doing it, right? I didn’t want to duplicate effort, and I certainly didn’t want to be seen as trying to take over or steal something. I’ve come to realize over time, however, that even if some project exists, or there is some history of work on a project somewhere, if you can’t find it (and you definitely should try to find out first, because it is very possible that you can join an ongoing project and contribute to a larger goal there), then it likely isn’t active.
Don’t be persuaded away from doing a thing because you think you need permission to do it. The vast, vast majority of the time, the only thing that holds someone back is themselves, so if you have the motivation to do something, get going and start it. In the rare cases where you will need permission or some support, you can find that support along the way, and it will be much easier to get when you have a proof-of-concept already.
Examples of some things you can do
State or Regional judge pens – GA has had state pens with just a silly pun on them for a few years now. You don’t need anything special to get these made, and the more people you can get to go in on them, the cheaper they’ll be for everyone.
Regional swag – This may require you talking to your RC to get the logo, but basically the sky is the limit. Want regional clothing? It’s doable? Regional pint glasses? It’s possible.
A miniconference or social gathering – If you have the spark of an idea, and the willingness to work to make it happen, it can be done!
Facebook group for local judges or candidates – Just start tossing people invites. This is an easy way to create or grow a community, but follow-through matters. If the group languishes, it doesn’t help anyone.
These are some really simple, off-the-cuff ideas. I’m sure you have something in mind that you’ve wanted to have or see done, so why not be that change and go make it happen! Drive the change! See a need, fill a need!