Bill wrote an article that was incorporated into Concept IX of our AA Service Manual titled ‘Leadership in AA: Ever a Vital Need’, which
http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/en_bm-31.pdf“was first thought of in connection with our world service leadership, it is possible that some of its suggestions can be useful to anyone who takes an active part in our Society.”
“Every sponsor is necessarily a leader. The stakes are about as big as they could be. A human life and usually the happiness of a whole family hang in the balance. What the sponsor does and says, how well he estimates the reactions of his prospects, how well he times and makes his presentation, how well he handles criticisms, and how well he leads his prospect on by personal and spiritual example – These qualities of leaderships can make all the difference, often the difference between life and death” (AA Service Manual, pg 40)
Successful sobriety, at least in my case, is mainly due to leadership of those old drunks who took me by the hand (and sometimes collar) to motivate me and steer me along a path to a new life today... Which is almost ‘miraculous’ considering the Defiance I came to the doors of AA with.
The First bit of AA leadership demonstrated to me was by the fellow who 12th Stepped me in AA.
Coming out of a black out and waking (again) to the Hideous Four Horsemen of Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration & Despair it was almost too coincidental that I found myself talking with a fellow on ship... someone I didn’t know in the workplace (we had a 5,500 men ship company), nor did I know was an AA member.
His Timing was perfect, as I was 'feeling' the shame, remorse, guilt, etc.
He listened with some interest as I detailed as much of what I remembered, asked questions which produced more ‘tales of woe’ as to about every thing in my life. And then, when I ran out of steam (or whine), he made a simple suggestion, “Maybe it’s your drinking?”
He showed interest and spent time with me. There was no diagnosis, no direction, no order, just a “maybe”, which he followed up with an invitation to attend the ship’s AA meeting that night, another suggestion with a promise of more of his time.
Later, at the meeting, I found more of the same... Interest, time, and suggestions, combined into ‘their experience’. “This is what WE were like, what happened, and what WE are like now”, to which they added Hope and Encouragement of “Come back again,” and “If you are like we were, AA will work for you, too.”
AS I didn’t have any other place to go, that Hope & Encouragement got me to my second meeting.
Bobby S used Timing, Interest, Personal Time to lead me to a meeting, where the group continued to lead me towards AA with Experience, and Hope & Encouragement.
I'd like to hear what approach or approaches worked with you, or you used with others... To get through the doors of AA, working the Steps, through a bad time, into doing service work, etc.
For instance, were you lead by Example (Good & not so good)? Order & Discipline (some of us function well with structure)? Demonstration, Illustration, Oration (moved by speech & explanation)? led by Faith (in a Higher Power and/or another AA)? motivated by Usefulness (like being of help to others)? by a sense of Obligation/Team Work (paying back what they gave to you)? or by Pain/Heartache (struggling in Dignity)? ... (I'm sure there are others ways)