The Four Key Ingredients

Once your group is formed—a process that might take weeks or months—four elements must be present before the group can take any action. If any one of the four is missing, the group will exhibit the classic defense mechanisms (rationalizing, backstabbing, scapegoating, forming more committees) to avoid taking action. The four essential ingredients are:

(1) Hope: The group must believe that all the effort, time and toil will result in some change.

(2) Courage: The group must be willing to ''risk'' the confrontation.

(3) Goals: The group must clearly understand what it is that is being changed.

(4) Strategy: The group must clearly understand how the goal is to be achieved.

As a group leader, one must be constantly aware of the dynamics of the group. If and when the group begins to backstab, rationalize, scapegoat or turn on itself, it is the leader's task to assess which of the four ingredients is missing and to ''plug in'' the missing one.