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Around The Grange
February Leadership Tip: Fresh Start

By Rusty Hunt, National Leadership/Membership Director

  FEBRUARY 17, 2010 --

Sometimes wouldn't you just like to have a fresh start? As leaders in the Grange, we sometimes find our ideas and ourselves in a rut. We deal with the same problems and frustrations or we just seem to do the same old thing over and over and over. It would just be great if every once and a while we could get that chance at a fresh start at something. But how do we do that when it often seems as nothing in the Grange has changed? We have the same activities and programs, which are still working to encourage us or raise the funds needed to keep us going. We have the same officers, the same members, and meet on the same first Monday of the month; and it seems like we get the same 14 -16 members attending these meetings each month. So how can we go about getting a fresh start?

You could become the National Grange Leadership/Membership Development Director and go around the country and work with great Grangers from every state, who have the drive to get new members, start new Granges, and build the Grange into the best fraternal organization in the land (which is a great job, by the way). Or you could try any and all of these tips: 1. Go out into you Grange's community and talk to mayor, assemblyman, commissioner, sheriff, and police chief to find out what is going on in the community and ask them how the Grange could help with those things. With this information, you can then begin a new project or activity. 2. Ask somebody to join the Grange and then when they do, find out what is important to them and encourage your Grange to start a fresh program or activity to help that member accomplish their goals. 3. Work with one of your State Grange membership teams to organize, reorganize, or revitalize a Grange. I have found no better feeling in the Grange than seeing a group of people get together to get a fresh start as a new Grange!

All three of the things that I have listed above can be done by a Grange member of any age. They are easy to do and can be done, in most cases, with little or no money. There are no special skills needed, just a desire and some initiative.

As Leaders, the fresh start comes by trying something new. The fresh start comes for us when we get to see one of these things through the eyes of a new member or someone that has never seen them happen before. The fresh start comes as we see there is a new and better way to accomplish our goals and we appreciate that learning and adventure comes from trying something new.

Leaders need to experience a fresh start every now and then to help us avoid burn out or fatigue. We need to listen to the new members so we can remember when the Grange was fresh to us back when we started. Remember how we were just itching to start those first projects and activities? We need to get a chance to recharge our passions for the Grange and keep our energy up for those that look to us for leadership.

So, where are you today? Have you experienced a fresh start in the Grange lately or do you need one now? Do you know someone that could use a fresh start - either a brand new member or a long time Granger? Spring is just around the corner and with that brings fresh growth and new beginnings. Now, too, is the time for out fresh start!



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