By Cooper Domgard, 2008-09 Key Club International Trustee
One of the things that I love about Key Club is that it’s a student-led organization, which means that it’s constantly changing as students make the organization what they want it to be.
Through my experience as an international trustee in Key Club, I received my first taste in being comfortable being uncomfortable. People like Scott Johnson from the Carolinas District, Steve Phillips from Kentucky-Tennessee and the wonderful Barry Werfel from New Jersey shaped my Key Club experience. I admire these folks, as well as my own Nebraska-Iowa District Administrator T.J. Tjaden, because they never gave us the answers; they just showed us how to get there. Those lessons carry on in life through personal relationships, battles in the business world or wherever we’ve all moved on to.
At the company I now work for in Lincoln, Nebraska, my boss and I always say, “Be comfortable being uncomfortable,” because when you’re most uncomfortable is when you grow. In Key Club, one of my biggest challenges was when I knew I was going to make a decision that I knew was right, but that might be combated with disagreement. My biggest fear was that people would say, “We made a mistake when we elected him.” What I learned to accept, however, was that I was elected to do what I felt was best for the member and for those that were going to be affected by my decisions, and as long as I believed that I did that, I would walk out any door with my head held high.
Now in the business world, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of discussions that will affect our customers, and I hold the same thought that I held then. I was put here to do the best possible job that I can do for those who are affected by my decisions, and as long as I know that I’ve done that, at the end of the day, I can be satisfied.
Key Club also taught me that if I’m making a decision alone, I’m in trouble. When you get elected to one of the 11 highest offices in an organization that runs 250,000 members deep, it’s easy to think that you have all answers. Nobody can expect that out of themselves. In fact, collaborate, use people around you as resources, and do everything together.
As a current Key Club district administrator and Key Leader coordinator for the Nebraska-Iowa District, I am in a position where I get to help members grow. My biggest goal is to show them how to get there, but never give away the answers, much like Scott, Steve, T.J. and Barry did for us. To this year’s international board and district governors, I advise you to collaborate with those around you, your friends on the board, because we’ll always have more answers together than we’ll ever have alone.