Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Thank you to S. Dawdy who did the majority of writing this piece and Sandra Crosnoe for their input on this post.

A grassroots effort is individuals, who voluntarily, out of their own free will, choose to engage with other free will individuals on projects that further their shared goals and on causes they believe in.

It’s not a formalized organization of group-think, or layers of bureaucracy in the form of committees and subcommittees.
It’s not a pyramidal structure as has been seen time and again in government, in political parties, in 501c3’s or large corporations.

If that worked, would we all be here today? If we create this formal structure, how are we going to spark people to get involved, why would they be invested in the process if they are not members of the “Executive Committee” or “Board”?

Grassroots is a collaborative effort of free individuals with the help of the coordination of an inspired facilitator or leader with a vision.

A true leader doesn’t take credit when things go right, but is willing to take the blame when things go wrong. They are usually reluctant, but out of a deep conviction of their beliefs, step forward. And a true leader is protective of those who are looking for vision, guidance, and help.

True leadership has a vision and direction, but at the same time has a willingness to make difficult decisions when necessary. They are principled, and sometimes, out front, particularly when they are avid seekers of the truth.

I think it has been so long, and we have come so far from having that, when we are trying to do anything, we turn to the “default” for the answers. The default is a very formalized, pyramidal structure with layers of bureaucracy. But bureaucracy and pyramidal structures trap potential and paralyze action.

Did Paul Revere run around consulting with a committee before he jumped on his horse?

True grassroots individuals encourage and inspire one another to use their talents and skills to have an impact on the things they are passionate about and agree need to be accomplished. Rather than going to the “default”, such as the pyramidal structure, it would seem it is better to do things in a as free a manner as possible while still being effective.

Rather than the failed pyramid, we need to try to do things by project. Projects that are hubs of activity but connected with one another and moving toward shared goals. Anyone who agrees with the goals of a project is free to join in. We are all adults who want to take personal responsibility and we want to get something done.

In order to be most effective, a new grassroots movement should focus on educating and informing themselves, help one another do the same, and share information and try to educate the public when appropriate. Leaders and members of the group should help get people the tools and skills they need to accomplish these goals.

If “all” a grassroots movement ever accomplished was to move towards an informed electorate, that would be a worthy accomplishment.

But when an educated, skilled grassroots, project-oriented effort is moving toward the overall goal of moving towards originally intended, Constitutionally limited government, it’s difficult to imagine they can’t accomplish more.


Sandra Crosnoe said...

The pure delight has been getting to know and work with people like Joan!

Blessings to Joan and all the wonderful people helping her in Michigan too.

apackof2 said...

Back at ya Sandy!