Managing the Group:
Leading Two: Is it for You?
Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 36
No. 6, December 2000-January 2001, p. 127
The LEADER'S HANDBOOK states on page 4 that a basic responsibility of a La Leche League Leader is to plan and lead monthly Series Meetings. We usually assume that means Series Meetings with just one Group. What about leading with more than one Group?
I once led meetings in two different Groups in Texas, USA. I didn't really plan this arrangement but, when I moved just 25 miles away from my Group, I decided to stay active in my former Group and also help out with a Group in my new community.
When I lived in Ohio, USA, I was a Leader in a Group 40 minutes from my house where I co-led with two experienced Leaders. When another Leader approached me about starting a new Group nearby, I felt that I still enjoyed co-leading in the old Group and couldn't imagine quitting. I also really wanted to support the new Group where I knew there was a need.
Tandem leading has some real challenges. Not only are you attending two meetings each month, you may also be traveling to two Evaluation Meetings each month. There are extra phone calls, two Group Libraries, more monthly meeting reports, and ordering and treasury details.
However, the needs of each Group can be different. One may need you more than the other. One may have more money, a bigger Group Library, more Leaders, more participation, or more challenges than the other. And sometimes, like tandem nursing, the responsibilities of both can be challenging.
On the other hand, you get to see different styles of LLL every month. I went to night meetings with one Group and morning meetings with the other. In Ohio, the night Group met in farmhouses on a working apple orchard and a goat farm. The morning Group met in a large new home in an affluent area. One Texas Group met in a library; one met at a bank.
You might consider leading multiple Groups if the following circumstances apply:
- You live between two Groups
- You're considering starting a new Group closer to your home but don't want to abandon your original Group
- You're a Leader new to an area and are not yet ready to lead with one particular Group
- You like CO-leading nearby but want to help a new Leader in a more distant Group
- You want to help a lone Leader who has been ill, has a new baby or toddler twins, or another challenge
- You're living in a temporary housing situation and need to be flexible in your leading situation
- You're a lone Leader and your meetings have very high attendance. You decide to split the Group into two smaller Groups
- You want to try leading special meetings (Couples Meetings, Teen Mother Meetings, etc.--see p. 248-270 of the Leader's Handbook) in addition to regular Group Series Meetings
If you are considering extra leading you might want to cut down on your responsibilities in one or both Groups. Streamline your involvement to the five basic responsibilities, alternate night and day meetings, work with Leader Applicants in only one Group, and/or attend an Evaluation Meeting every other month. Customize your participation. When I tandem led, I was never the Listed Leader.
Is tandem leading for you? Talk it over with your District Advisor (or other LLL Support Person*) and other Leaders in nearby Groups, or your Chapter. Consider your time, Area needs, your family's circumstances, your energy, your children's ages and temperaments, and consider the many advantages.
[* Editor's note: policies and procedures may differ between Divisions and Affiliates; check with your LLL support person before undertaking the leading of a second LLL Group.]