Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Passing it on: A Model

A basic rule of convenor work is "pass it on" -- recruit someone else to take over the convenor role in the meeting, after a period of time.  At the Service Center, we recently received a letter that's a model of how to handle that transition.
Dear LifeRing:
This is to inform you that my commitment as convenor of the Wednesday San Rafael Kaiser CDS meeting has ended as of December 30.
As my replacement, Caryl K. has volunteered to convene the meeting starting the following Wednesday.  At that time, she will assume responsibility for turning in the basket receipts, ordering pamphlets and books, etc.  Additionally, she has given her consent to be listed as a contact for this meeting; her phone number is [____].
I wish to thank you for the opportunity to be of service to this organization which is a much needed alternative to the non-secular recovery groups.
Dee S
It's a pleasure to get a communication like this.  It lets us know that the convenor, who had been in this role for about a year, understood the basic message of the How Was Your Week book, namely to "pass it on."  And it allows us to update our database so that we know who is the current convenor of this meeting, and we have an address where we can send brochures, schedules, receipts, and letters, and we have a phone number to which we can refer callers for information.  In short, it keeps alive the connection of that meeting with the rest of the LifeRing network, and with the recovery community as a whole.

You might think, "Well, of course! Isn't that always true?"  Unfortunately, not.  There are cases where convenors pass the baton and don't tell anyone outside the meeting that they've done so.  Sometimes in remote areas convenors even drop the baton and tell no one.  As a result, at the Service Center, we have no idea who is convening that meeting, and sometimes we have the unpleasant surprise of hearing from strangers that they went to the listed meeting and nothing was there.  That happens rarely, but even once is too often, because it undermines the credibility of the whole organization.  It taints the brand, as marketing people say.

Therefore, thank you, Dee S, for showing how it's done right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing that I find as a Bad Role Model in long-term sobriety ... It's sad when the sobriety takes over in a negative way as ridiculing others, yet their only existance is built upon graphs of counting sobriety and re-reading old journals and not living a full life outside of that or passing it on in a positive fashion by living a fuller life ... People who give back and encourage are much more of a good influence ... Submitted respectfully from personal experience with knowing both types ...