You’ve heard the old expression that “two heads are better than one”? Well, it’s true in politics too. In fact, the more like-minded “heads” that you can get together, thinking, planning and working in the same direction, the more leverage and energy you can bring to any project.
Why wouldn’t you try to bring that same strength to bear on political problems (or opportunities)?
If the type of people that we hang out with impacts the course of our personal lives, then it follows that the type of people that we work with to impact the things that we care about influences our chances of political success. Remember, “Irons sharpens iron”.
The Benefits of Small Groups:
- More skills and resources become available
- Broader networks of contacts are created
- Relationships grow stronger
- Group brain-storming leads to more ideas
- Action items are developed
- Group members get encouraged and are held accountable
It’s one thing to have a good group of people that you tend to hang around politically, but it’s another thing to have a specific group of people who come together for a specific purpose. In other words, it creates leverage.
Why are you together? What does everyone want to accomplish or what do they want to see changed? Does everyone have the same expectations about what kind of time and resources they need to invest in it?
As Solomon put it in Proverbs, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed, but in the multitude of counselors they are established”.
Before You Start a Small Group:
- Know the purpose – (if everyone’s not on the same page, then there’s no point)
- Know who you need – (when you know the purpose, it’s easier to figure out “who” you need to recruit…people who are committed to the goal and the idea of having a group)
- Know what everyone brings to the table – (look for unique benefits…and how they relate to reaching the goals of the group)
Don’t invite everyone just to “build a crowd”. You’ll end up going in ten different directions at once, get nowhere fast and frustrate everyone. The bigger this type of group gets, the more unwieldy it will become. Keep it smaller and more personal. Be selective.
You’re looking for key people who are committed to the cause – all with unity of purpose and clarity about what to do and how to go about it. People with different strengths that benefit the whole. In other words, think of it as a recruiting process for a team.
After You Start a Small Group:
- Meet Regularly – Not meeting defeats a key reason for having a small group to begin with, so set up a schedule. Maybe you decide to meet for breakfast once a week…or on a certain Saturday every month. Just make sure it’s as often as you need to in order to accomplish your goals, and that it’s something regular (and with time limits) that everyone can plan around.
- Meet Conveniently – Meet somewhere that allows the group to have the kind of interaction that it needs in order to get things done.
- Meet with a Purpose – Share information, brainstorm ideas, create projects, make plans and set action items, and hold each other accountable
You’re looking to have regular meetings with a group of people with common goals in order to facilitate organized thought, which leads to thoughtfully organized activity.
If other side projects or even a larger organization is born out of it, fine. In fact that’s part of the point of small groups, to give rise to other projects and opportunities that relate to your goals. But keep the group itself smaller, manageable and focused.
Remember, there really is no replacement for organized, collective thought and action. As Sam Adams put it, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority…”
So start a small group and BE that “tireless minority”!