Dear League Leaders,

Many Leagues are in summer mode. Hmmm ...that means lots of barbecuing...and planning for the upcoming League year.

Bon Appétit had 50 Things you should know to be Grilling Expert. Looking at some of them through League eyes I can see their worth!

1. Two Grills Are Better Than One: Own more than one grill. Gas grills may be convenient, but you still need a charcoal grill for true low and slow smoking.

Translated for League: Work as a team. Having one person in charge of a project may work well in many cases but two or more is oh so much better and more inviting for someone else to take a part.

2. Grate Expectations:
Keep your grill hot, clean, and well oiled. Start with a hot grill grate.

Translated for League: Plan your League calendar soon with a view to new activities, new goals to move your League forward.

3. Be Direct: Direct grilling means cooking the food directly over the fire.

Translated for League: Be intentional about visibility, the membership "ask" as well as financial support for your programs (other than for advocacy)

4. Leave Your Mark: To lay on a crosshatch of grill marks, start with a hot, well-oiled grill grate.

Translated for League: Make sure for every activity you explore ways to promote your League programs. Explore new ways to get the word out in addition to printed media. (local radio, twittering, email get the idea.)

Looking for program ideas? Go to other local League websites and read their bulletins!

5. Get Organized: Line up your food in neat rows. This looks good and will also help you keep track of what went on first, what needs turning first, and so forth.

Translated for League: Need I say more? Poke around the website for resources.

6. Fuel Check:
There's nothing worse than running out of charcoal or gas in the middle of a backyard barbecue. To prevent this, always keep an extra bag of charcoal and/or a full tank of propane on hand.

Translated for your League: Make sure you have enough people (League fuel) to do what you’re planning. Find members to form a committee or appoint to the board (or team) who can help in a special way.

7. Chill Out

Translated for your League: Keep a cool head.

  • Delegate-- convey the task and then let it go.
  • Don't let negative voices prevail.
  • No one should dominate a board meeting

8. Balancing Act: A good barbecue sauce is a study in balance. Sure, you want contrast (sweet-sour; salty-spicy), but no one flavor should dominate.

Translated for your League: A good leadership team displays a variety of skills and interests. One person does not do it all even if they seem to want to.

9. The Meat of the Matter: Serve most of the sauce on the side. Remember, it's about the meat, not the sauce. (Plus, it's easier to add sauce than to remove it.)

Translated for your League: Get out in the community. Brainstorm about how to go about this. (Observer Corps, Speakers Bureau, etc.) Remember, only do what you can as a local League. Don't try to do it all.

10. Don't Put a Lid on It: Never light a gas grill with the lid closed.

Translated for your League: Celebrate shout how great your League is. Remember to publicly say thank you! (Did I mention visibility?)

Here are some ideas for the summer:

In June:

  • You attended your state League council or national convention. Share the news with your League!
  • Have a board orientation or retreat (If you need help in how to go about this give me a jingle)
  • Review non-partisan policy
  • Appoint board members to new nominating committee

In July:

  • You may want to have a board calendaring meeting
  • Perhaps a social event ( cream social?)

In August:

  • Plan a kick-off event
  • Recruit Committees:
    • Action
    • Study
    • Voter Service
    • Fundraising
    • Visibility around programs
  • Membership (membership recruitment campaign)