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Gail's LLLI Conference Blog

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Conference Begins!!

The conference Begins!

Hello all!!

Today is my first official day of conference. I was going to go to another museum this morning but decided to go to the World Assembly instead.

I lost my conference booklet already so I borrowed a page from Nancy Jo Bykowski.... this is the booklet says:
World Assembly_ A Community Alive!
eaders and Leader Applicants from the four corners of the world gather to discuss topics and programs of interest to them in the LLL community. Come share excitement in making the network alive in the real world for the morning.

Okay, I wasn't really sure what this was but after 2 days of waiting for my part of the conference to begin I just wanted to be involved with something!! (Okay, my sight seeing plans haven't worked out as well as I hoped. I'm still tired enough that I'm not sure I could navigate DC on my own, I've witnessed a car accident at the intersection I was about to cross... it moves way too fast for this country mouse... squeak squeaker squeaken).


So Back to the conf. ;-)

I entered the International Ballroom West to find folks milling around. I found a seat and soon saw familiar faces wandering by.. One was Peggy Weidemyer(sp?) who began my accreditation process with me about (mumble mumble )years ago. Soon we broke into "tables" I was relieved to see there were actual tables involved. I found the table for the topic Mutual accountability: what it means to me; how it works or can work. I've been hearing this phrase on different Community Network (CN) lists and linked with "Heartland" and sometimes with the Renewal Initiative and wanted to see what others were thinking about it. (Leaders---if YOU want to see the conversation we generated notes from each of the tables will be put up on CN. My table is starting a discussion by the same same name on CN. I think many others are too.

anyway. Surrounding our table were leaders from Italy, USWD and EUS and New Zealand. At first our discussion focused on sorting out what was meant by "accountability"... whose accountable to who, what does that mean, are there better words for it etc. We talked about some of the negative feelings around the word accountability... and yet how negative experiences in our work with Leaders left us feeling we wanted someone "to do something" about it... somewhere for the buck to stop....

I still felt a bit off with the word accountability. It seemed too focused in a way like the other side of the coin was missing. We soon began talking about being "engaged"... being committed to LLL and to the Leaders in our Area, or Leaders we work with due to geography. (which I do a bit. I live much closer to events in MN/DA than to events in WI). Engaged worked for me on several levels. If I know someone and have a bit of a relationship with them I'm motivated to maintain that relationship... I'm more likely to make a commitment to work with them in what ever parameters we've set up and I want to meet whatever goals we've set up. AND... engaged brings to mind a clutch. I can sit in my car ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL day long long burning up gas but if i don't engage the clutch I'm never going to get in gear and GO anywhere!

Some of my thoughts were: As a Leader I've promised... committed... to engaging with moms and babies to offer them support and information as they build their nursing relationship... I've agreed to do so in the name of LLL so I've promised to do it in a certain way which is in accordance to LLL philosophy. Being engaged with other Leaders and building relationships creates a working relationship where we will clarify the way we want to serve LLL and make sure it reflects LLL philosophy and hold each other accountable. Much of this already happens but not across the board.

Good grief. I wrote so much for one thing. I'll try not to babble on on such a small detail in other blog entrys.



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