Deputize and Deploy!

The Lions Clubs of Gwinnett County Making a Difference
(L to R) PDG Clower, Zone Chairman Stamsen, Lion Wolfe

It all began with a tweet, an email, a blog post and a delay.

Last June the Dacula Lions Club received a message on Twitter, from Lovett Productions, introducing the documentary Going Blind. After looking into the opportunity, and bringing it to the attention of our club members, I sent an email message back to Joseph Lovett expressing our interest to utilize the documentary to educate, inspire and recruit. I followed up with a phone call – In fact, there were several phone calls made to Lovett productions, with lots of exciting ideas being exchanged.

While the Dacula Lions Club was interested in Going Blind, we knew that utilizing the opportunity to its fullest would require a larger effort than our newly chartered club could provide on its own.

So I began the effort to deputize.

In July of last year I uploaded a blog post, providing a synopsis of Going Blind and detailing the value of using the film to educate and inspire others, across all communities.

Thankfully two local Past District Governors and a Zone Chairman saw the value of Lovett’s documentary as soon as we spoke about it. Others provided comments to the blog post and asked me about the documentary.

Several other clubs from across the country and across the world began to take notice of Going Blind (unrelated to my efforts). Finally, Lions Club International decided to show Going Blind at its upcoming International Convention, in Seattle, WA.

Still there were no additional signs of movement from District 18-D, or from across the state, even with the strong efforts of two PDG’s, a Zone Chairman and myself (by far the lowest person on the totem pole).

I began to think about some observations that I’ve known to be true from my past and some of the tactics I’ve used to get projects headed in the right direction:

* The busy will always be busy. They will seldom return phone calls and will often spend a great deal of time explaining just how busy they are.

* Those who are typically predisposed to contemplating, will spend lots of time thinking and little time in taking the action steps which lead to making a difference.

* When something is truly important, there will be times when progress seems slow. So during those times, it often becomes necessary to stop waiting for others and create the spark of momentum you are looking for.

I remembered times in the past when I had to draw upon faith and skills to deputize and deploy (though Seth Godin and many others refer to deployment as “shipping”).

Being a small business owner has many advantages. One of which is that when the owner sees value in something, he/she can often just make the decision to make it happen.

As owner of FlexMarketing Solutions, I made it happen by donating the educational / institutional rights for Going Blind to the Georgia Lions of District 18-D. Since I believe in providing value to the community, my company does too!

During the past several weeks, PDG Clower, Zone Chairman Stamsen and I have worked diligently to compile a list of additional people in Gwinnett County who would see the same value in the Lovett Productions documentary, as we have.

Invitations were sent to the people we identified – various Lions Club Presidents, Past District Governor, Past International Presidents, Gwinnett County officials and various other “Linchpins” in the community.

Two preview showings were recently held at the Garden Plaza, Lawrenceville. While the crowds were small, we intended for it to be that way.

Our goal was to deputize and deploy – and our goal was achieved.

Going Blind will be shown all across Gwinnett and the various other counties contained in District 18-D and it will be promoted by a large group of people who indeed have the vision to educate and inspire.

So looking back from June 2010 to April 2011, the group of those who were deputized grew as follows:

From 1 to 6 to 9 to 52.

Not bad.

And deployment is well underway.

While I surely won’t make it to all of the future showing across the state of Georgia and while I won’t have the opportunity meet all of the people who will be educated and inspired, a few things are certain.

Word will spread. The documentary will be shown across Georgia. Others will be touched.

While the process of deputize and deploy can be often tiring and requires patience, it is worth the effort.

Deputize and deploy works well in making a difference in our communities, just as it does in business.

Please feel free to share your stories of deputize and deploy, so that readers may draw from them as well.

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