It’s the middle of a build day, and I’m listening to one of our new camp members complain about my co-lead, the person I asked to step up and support me when the responsibility of bringing The Punkin Project and leading our camp at the same time became too much to manage on my own. Well, too much to manage and still have fun, because these things are meant to be fun!
My co-lead wound up with her own art project and found herself in the same situation that had me reach out to her for support. She was stressed. She had too much on her plate, and I got it. So, I asked this complaining camp member to take the task of creating our camp layout off of her plate. Creating a camp layout was something kinda pressing, but not critical.
If you come with complaints, often disguised as suggestions, chances are you’re going to leave with some new accountability. This kind of organizational strategy is called a Do-ocracy. It’s kinda like Nike’s “Just Do It” or the saying “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” The one in charge is the one doing it. Do-ocracies take away the usual criteria for leadership (training, experience, etc.) and give it to whoever is simply willing to do the work.
For example, I’m our Camp Lead because I stepped up. I wasn’t voted in or anything, and that’s the point. I saw an opportunity to participate that matched my strengths, and I took it.
Peanut Gallery type comments are easily squashed in Do-ocracies. Once, a campmate asked me who made me boss. After I offered him the role, because really, being Camp Lead is mostly filling out paperwork and herding cats, he didn’t have anything else to say. If you have an idea of how to do something better, get in there and do it! If you don’t want to, then be quiet and leave the person doing it alone.
“People who say “It can’t be done.” should not interrupt the ones doing it.”
A Do-ocracy is personal empowerment with a put up or shut up attitude. It’s also a great way to delegate tasks. Often, you’ll find someone is passionate about something that is just another item on your to-do list, like one of our campmates that took on being accountable for the camp’s trash and recycling.
Considering this kind of leadership or accountability, doesn’t have prerequisites, it can be a great way to empower people in your group. Unfortunately, passion isn’t always accompanied by organizational or leadership skills, so it’s a good idea when the end result is not critical. For example, that camp layout never did get done. This is the camp layout I ended up sharing with our campmates…
So, the next time someone comes to you with an idea of what you could or should do with whatever project you’re working on, try saying “That’s a great idea! You should do that and let me know how it goes!” See how that feels and share the results with us below!