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Working with a Leader Applicant:
Exploring new online resources

Alison Parkes
Director LLLI Leader Accreditation Department
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2008, p. 7

Maybe your Group has a new Leader Applicant. Or maybe you have offered to work with an isolated Leader Applicant in order to help LLL to grow -- fantastic! Eagerly the Applicant turns to you for support. How do you feel? Are you confident about helping her prepare for leadership? Do you have questions about what to do next?

As Leaders, each of us has completed the necessary application work for accreditation. Has it been a long time, though, since you were closely involved with an application? Do you have questions about what is required or available at this time? Perhaps the prospect of working with a Leader Applicant as a supporting Leader makes you feel confused or apprehensive. Maybe you wish that many resources for helping Leaders work with Applicants were more readily accessible. Working with an Applicant may bring questions to the surface for you, such as those relating to the LLL mission or the definition of an active Leader. Maybe you would like to refer to Leaven articles on such topics as mixing causes or liability insurance before meeting to discuss them with an Applicant. Perhaps you would like to hold Leader Applicant meetings, but are unsure of how to get started.

The good news is that a new online resource is now at hand to answer questions about the role of a supporting Leader.Working with a Leader Applicant is a set of online pages within Thinking About LLL Leadership? Leader's Guide. You can access these pages at

Once you get to Working with a Leader Applicant, you will find three separate sections: frequently asked questions (FAQs), articles arranged by topic, and ideas for Leader Applicant meetings. Here is a flavor of some of the FAQs:

  • There is a new Leader Applicant in my Group, and I am not sure what I should do first to help her get started with her application. What am I supposed to cover with her?
  • My Group's Leader Applicant is so enthusiastic. Sometimes she knows more on a topic than I do -- it makes me feel inadequate.
  • My Group's Applicant seems to have stalled in her application. How can I help her to keep going?
  • I have offered to work as a supporting Leader with an isolated Applicant. What should I be doing?
  • I'm confused. My Group's Leader Applicant says she doesn't want to lead Series Meetings, but I thought that was a basic responsibility of leadership.
  • My Group's Leader Applicant and I want to reach more women from diverse backgrounds when she becomes accredited. Do you have any suggestions for how to go about this?

Each of these questions has a full response providing suggestions and, in many cases, links to other relevant resources. The articles section provides links to over 50 articles that are mainly from Leaven and arranged by topics such as "Helping Mothers," "Application Work," "Leading Meetings," "Managing a Group," and "Mixing Causes." The section "Ideas for Leader Applicant meetings" includes:

  • Getting started with Leader Applicant meetings
  • Top tips for Leader Applicant meetings
  • Ways to organize Leader Applicant meetings
  • Application resources
  • Application exercises
  • Application games for Leader Applicants
  • Online Leader Applicant groups

The Leader Accreditation Department would like to thank the small group of dedicated Leaders from around the world who have helped to make this set of online pages a reality. Thank you to Toshi Jolliffe (Coordinator of Leader Accreditation for Japan and Leaven Editorial Review Board), Juanita Watt (Leader in New Mexico, USA, and Leaven Editorial Review Board), and Tanja Fletcher (Leader in Great Britain).

Working with a Leader Applicant can be a very rewarding part of our experience as a Leader, ensuring that new Leaders are there to support the mothers of the future. So relax, see what these new pages can offer you, and enjoy your role of supporting Applicants, with the help of Working with a Leader Applicant and the rest of Thinking About LLL Leadership? Leader's Guide.

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