Leadership: Good Versus Bad
In my opinion, today’s motorcycle clubs are facing a leadership and brotherhood crisis. They can only survive this crisis if the leaders and members respect and believe in each other.
A good leader cares about his club, respects his members and leads by example. He believes that every member has a right and duty to vote on all aspects of club policy. A good leader lets you think for yourself and encourages you to be actively involved in club decisions. He wants to build your club into a strong presence that earns the loyalty and respect necessary for today’s clubs to survive.
A good leader acknowledges that it is your club as much as it is his. He believes in a strong brotherhood, and represents the will of the members. He values your ideas and listens to your input. He trusts that you will do the right thing to make your club and brotherhood strong. By working together, he earns your willing loyalty and support.
A bad leader shows no respect for his members. He rules using fear, intimidation and violence to control you. He believes you don’t have the right to voice an opinion or vote on club policies and rules. He believes you are too stupid or inexperienced to contribute worthy ideas. A bad leader feels he alone has the right to make the important decisions about you and your club. He demands you blindly follow and do whatever he decides.
These bad leaders seem to believe our Motorcycle clubs should be structured like an organized crime family instead of being based on democracy and brotherhood.
A motorcycle club’s members are a collection of like-minded individuals whose purpose is riding motorcycles and brotherhood. A criminal organization’s members are individuals ruled by a capo whose purpose is criminal activity and personal gain.
Today, in some clubs, rules have been twisted to the point where leaders have the power to strip any member of his patch on a whim. A bad leader demands instant loyalty and obedience from you. If you challenge his leadership or decisions, he will attempt to destroy you. If the brotherhood in that club is already weak, it’s very easy for a bad leader to divide and conquer.
This abuse of power destroys the concept of brotherhood. How can brotherhood survive if club members are treated as lackeys who have no rights?
We often see how dictatorial leaders responsible for decisions leading to criminal indictments turn on the members who blindly followed them. Like their counterparts in third-world countries, these Tyrants have no loyalty to anyone or anything. Bad leaders who hold a position using intimidation and violence ultimately destroy their own club. When their world eventually crashes down, they are only concerned with saving their own asses. They do not deserve anyone’s respect.
I believe all club members have a right and duty to decide the goals and future of their club. Once you receive the 100% vote necessary for membership, you are guaranteed the same rights, duty and responsibility as anyone in that club. Your participation gives you a vested interest in your club, and contributes to its success.
I also believe a member should not lose his patch unless he commits a patch-pulling offense AND if 100% of his chapter’s members agree he is guilty.
Why should any club member have to live in fear that he might displease some power-tripper and wind up losing his patch and tossed out in bad standing? Is that brotherhood or serfdom?
A Good Leader Doesn’t Fold
The solution is to establish a clearly defined charter stating the club’s goals and the individual member’s rights. This should be backed up with a simple common sense set of rules listing the violations for which a member will lose his patch. All club members should have a right to vote on every aspect of both.
Every member has the right to help decide the future of his club. Is your club a motorcycle club or a criminal organization? If you have the strength, integrity and willingness to stand up for what you believe in, you deserve a leader who has loyalty and respect for you. Together, you will earn the pride and recognition of belonging to a first class club that others admire and want to join.
Today is the day to bring about change. Stand up and demand your right to be heard by your club leaders. If they refuse to listen, do whatever it takes to get their attention. Your club’s future is up to you.