Leadership in A.A.

Leadership in A.A.

Leadership in A.A.

Good morning family,

At my home group’s monthly Traditions Study last night, we were studying:

  • Tradition 2
  • The importance of the group conscience, and
  • How in A.A., we do HAVE leaders – but not necessarily in the traditional sense of the word

I shared a quick quote from one of Bill’s writings in Concept 9 (which serves as a beautiful connection to Tradition 2) that I thought I would flesh out here as a reminder for us all as we’re given opportunities to step up and serve A.A. (here’s an excerpt from Bill’s writing….)

Leadership in AA: Ever a Vital Need
By Bill W., Copyright © AA Grapevine, Inc, April 1959

“No society can function well without able leadership in all its levels, and AA can be no exception. It must be said, though, that we AAs sometimes cherish the thought that we can do without any leadership at all. We are apt to warp the traditional idea of “principles before personalities” around to such a point that there would be no “personality” in leadership whatever. This would imply rather faceless automatons trying to please everybody, regardless.

A leader in AA service is therefore a man (or a woman) who can personally put principles, plans, and policies into such dedicated and effective action that the rest of us want to back him up and help him with his job. When a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but when he too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no judgment of his own – well, he really isn’t a leader at all.

Good leadership originates plans, policies, and ideas for the improvement of our Fellowship and its services. But in new and important matters, it will nevertheless consult widely before taking decisions and actions. Good leadership will also remember that a fine plan or idea can come from anybody, anywhere. Consequently, good leadership will often discard its own cherished plans for others that are better, and it will give credit to the source.”

Ultimately, as I mentioned last night, WE LEAD TO SERVE RATHER THAN LEADING TO GOVERN.   Servant leadership was a new idea for me but one that I learned to love for so many reasons. For some of us A.A.’s (me included), that has been a tall order – when I all ever wanted to do was manage and control everything in my life just as I did before I stopped drinking.

It’s been my experience that the best leaders lead with humility. The best leaders possess a blend of confidence and humility, believing in themselves and their abilities, yet drawing their power from a Higher Source. I strive to emulate these qualities. My humility connects me with the source of all real power: the presence of God within. It’s the realization that what’s best for everyone around me is also what’s best for me. Humility could then mean “serving for the benefit of others.”

Humility leads to true confidence because it grounds me in my connection with the Source of all the power, life, love, and strength. I feel empowered and free. With the humble confidence of spiritual leadership, I serve others with joy.

It’s also a great conversation for us to be having right now as we are about to walk into our 72nd General Service Conference having our elected trusted servants in the Fellowship (and others) make decisions for all of A.A. in Canada and the U.S. this coming April.  Who’s leading these decisions?  Us, or God speaking through the conscience of the Fellowship as a whole?

I’m grateful for inventory to see how I’m serving A.A. today. Is it coming from a place of ego and power (with a need for praise), or it is coming from a place of humility? This same principle can be applied in my life outside of A.A.:

  • In my home
  • With my family
  • At my place of work, etc.

Who do I believe’s in charge of my efforts as I step up to lead and be of service in this world today? Me, or God?

Have a great day serving God’s kids today!


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