The only way to eat an elephant

By Amy Campbell, DTM

Desmond Tutu once wisely said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” That phrase has always made me giggle, as I visualize someone pulling up a kitchen chair, tying a red and white checkered napkin around their neck, fork and knife in hand, starring wide eyed, scared, and stunned at the monumental feat in front of them!

I realize Tutu meant that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time. We can achieve all our goals, by tackling them. One. Bite. At. A. Time.

Building membership within your club may be that monumental task, daunting and overwhelming. The elephant that needs to be eaten. What happens if we break it down? What are the little bites that can be done, one at a time, to help?

First, meet with your fellow club officers and members. Membership building is a team effort and takes everyone’s participation and help (and besides, many hands make light work). Create a list of tasks, that may range from simple to complex (perhaps a small member profile of 160 words or less, to a larger organization session for a special event).

Second, prioritize these tasks. Consider what can be done immediately that will attract guests. What are the quick wins toward attracting guests? Each task is one bite that will propel your club closer to achieving its goal, and everyone can spare time to devote to one, bite-sized, specific task.

Third, assign the tasks appropriately. Ensure no one member is overwhelmed and everyone is contributing. Establish a timeline for accountability. Support those members who need the extra (remember, we are all on a learning journey, and some may need additional support – but their growth will be amazing!).

Simple bites to alleviate a daunting, overwhelming task. Especially in these times. But together, we can do it! For more information, questions, or to share success stories, contact the Club Growth Team (

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