In Preparation for an Application:
Meet with the prospective Leader Applicant to discuss and explore the following topics. As background for your discussion, use Becoming a La Leche League Leader, the Overview of Training Curriculum for Leader Accreditation, and LLLI Policies and Standing Rules--Appendices 17 and 18 (all in the Application Packet), the LEADER'S HANDBOOK, and your experience as an LLL Leader. (If you like, use the boxes [blanks in this web document] to indicate what you've done and still need to do.)
1. The LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership
___ Ask the prospective Applicant to assess her experience/attitudes in relation to each of the prerequisites. Does she understand the purposes and recognize their importance?
___ Together look at each prerequisite and explore its facets. Explain the significance to the Leader, LLLI, and the public.
___ Compare how you and she understand each prerequisite.
___ Does she meet the prerequisites? Use the Guidelines for Leaders from Appendix 18 to help you make your determination. Check with your co-Leaders to see if they agree. If any of you have questions or uncertainties, contact a Leader Accreditation Department representative.
2. La Leche League philosophy
___ With Appendix 17 as a resource, discuss each of the concepts separately and all as they relate one to another:
- How they are presented more fully in THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING.
- How they are revealed in a Leader's experience and in the prospective Applicant's experience.
___ Work through questions the prospective Applicant may have about the philosophy of "mothering through breastfeeding" or presenting it at meetings.
___ Stress that we present LLL philosophy and respect other philosophies and choices. If you and/or the prospective Applicant have questions about any of this, consult with your LAD representative.
3. The work of a Leader
___ Most Leaders begin with the five basic Leader responsibilities; explain what each entails. Do they describe the work the prospective Applicant would like to do as a Leader? Related to these, let her know about:
- Our published resources (books, newsletters, and magazines; pamphlets and information sheets).
- Our support network (DA/DC, APL, CLA, etc.) and opportunities for ongoing education.
- A Leader's accountability to LLLI and what she can expect from the organization; the importance and role of communication and consultation.
- The difference between guiding a discussion and formal "teaching."
- La Leche League's approach of mother-to-mother (peer) help:
- Respect for the knowledge an individual brings to a situation.
- The effect of long-term support on the continuation of breastfeeding.
- The LLL Leader's availability (how we fit LLL work into our lives).
An active LLL Leader pursues the La Leche League mission through basic Leader responsibilities as defined in the Policies and Standing Rules Notebook and/or other service to LLL. An active Leader's fees are current, she keeps up to date with Leader education, and she communicates regularly with the organization.
___ Ask the prospective Applicant about her goals as a Leader; explore with her how they will fulfill LLL's mission. Be sure that her goals are compatible with LLL's and that she is willing and able to keep her fees current, stay up-to-date with Leader education, and communicate with the organization.
4. The application work
___ Explain the parts of the application and their purposes so the prospective Applicant will know what to expect and what is expected of her.
___ Show the prospective Applicant what reading is required and the checklist of topics you will discuss together. If you have copies of the Breastfeeding Resource Guide and A Preview of Mothers' Questions/Problems and Group Dynamics/Management, you could show these too.
___ Explain the application procedures and how she will work with the LAD representative.
___ Talk about the LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation, which state that the Applicant will have:
- Met the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership.
- Nursed her baby for about a year.
- Demonstrated understanding of LLLI philosophy.
- Conveyed her knowledge of basic breastfeeding management.
- Demonstrated leadership skills and attitudes.
- Completed the LLL Leader accreditation work.
- Signed the LLL Leader Statement of Commitment.
___ Create a preliminary plan of what you will do together to assist her to attain these goals.
Throughout, if you are co-leading, consult with your co-Leader(s) about your intention to sponsor an application for leadership. When you, your co-Leader(s), and the prospective Applicant (candidate) are satisfied that an application is appropriate:
___ Ask the other Leaders in the Group to complete recommendation forms or to add their observations in a letter to the LAD representative.
___ At this time, you might also discuss the role (formal or informal) each Leader will play in helping the Applicant to prepare for leadership.
___ Write your recommendation. The questions relate both to the prerequisites to applying for LLL leadership and requirements for accreditation. The information you (and the Applicant, on her Application Form) provide the LAD representative is a first guide for the Applicant's work toward accreditation.
___ Encourage the prospective Applicant to send her Application Form and Fee (let her know the amount) to the LAD representative (provide her with the name and address) as soon as possible or to give them to you to include with your Leader Recommendation.
___ Give the candidate the material intended for her from this packet [the Leader application packet].
___ With acceptance of this application, be ready to meet regularly with the Applicant to discuss and practice various aspects of LLL leadership (for instance, following the checklist from the LEADER'S HANDBOOK) and to communicate frequently with the LAD representative.
Note: If a Leader Applicant or mother interested in applying for LLL leadership disagrees with a decision regarding her application made by a local LLL Leader or the LAD representative, LLLI offers a Leader Accreditation Appeals Process to afford her an opportunity to make her questions known and addressed. For more information, contact your LAD representative.