Ever had a "great" idea for your League and tried it, only to find that it didn’t work? How many times do we hear from experienced board members, that "We've tried that and it didn't work." Have you tried to never have a "great" idea since that fiasco?

Don’t give up on the possibility of having a breakthrough insight. Even the best ideas hardly ever work as expected when first tried. And most great League strategies develop in incremental steps whether it is a membership drive, finance drive, or visibility project . The success of each step shapes the next. Most successful business strategies—even Starbucks and Wal-Mart—needed refinement and detailed planning to really be great. So don’t ignore your next "great" idea.

Instead, present the idea to your board of directors—and ask them to work on it with you. The innovative and creative strategy that comes out of this working session will probably surprise you. Great ideas usually get better when people with varied perspectives work on them together. When the group has refined your new idea, you still have more work ahead. You will often have one or more major obstacles to overcome.

Even when the major hurdles have been cleared, you must sweat over the detailed plan to put your idea to work. Getting the details right is often where good ideas fail. Your success with your new great idea will be a testament to your focusing meticulous attention on the details of the operation. You must take pains to stay within budget and time constraints, to communicate clearly to members and the public, and to do whatever else must be done to make the idea work. So, don’t duck the next time a "great" idea pops into your head. Instead, get together with your board to work the idea into a doable concept, and then roll up your sleeves and prepare to sweat the details.

And by the way, be sure to check out the Little Green Book on the LWVUS website.


There will be a PowerPoint with my voice over embedded soon to summarize its contents. It is filled with ideas and insight into getting leaders for your League. But even these processes... nominating leaders and succession planning....take sweat!