Summary of Chapter 4: Take the First Steps

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.  ~ Margaret Meade

Chapter 4 is dedicated to working your PSN or being an active member of a friend's or a loved one's PSN team. It explains how to select the best team members and why; it also provides you with examples of roles and responsibilities, including identifying a leader; and, how to manage a PSN team for desired outcomes from the beginning through to the end.

Once you're clear on needs and objectives, asking for help from team members is the next step. Ask team members to help match needs and wishes with resources. Prioritizing may be needed.

The next steps are to establish ground rules (such as: keeping information from the meeting confidential, not using personal money, honoring limits, time, endings, and being respectful); to have a working vision, and create a plan.

Break down this plan into a list of manageable tasks which need to be prioritized to match available skills, information, and individuals. Encourage people to start small by taking on only one or two tasks to begin with. Expand roles as is comfortable. Build on success, and help avoid burnout. Don't let anyone promise too much!

To help your team get organized, you can try various websites like,,,, or use an old-fashioned calendar or letter. The important thing is that each person knows what is going on and how important their task is to the whole. The group should plan for what will happen if someone can't or doesn't handle a scheduled task: someone will need to cancel or won't come through - at least one time. It is important to know when tasks are being done, by whom, and who the back-up is.

Before you have a change or challenge where you would want a team to support you, or you are supporting another as a team member with their challenge, think about and honestly answer these questions. What is needed or wanted from a team? What's the vision for a successful outcome? What do you like to do for others? What do you do well? When are you generally available? Are you likely to be a good leader for your own team or for someone else's? Can you take care of yourself by setting limits? Can you say no as well as yes?

With answers in hand, you're on your way to success!