Leadership in Associations

Best Practices and Experiences – AENC Leadership Roundtable, 5/ 17/2013

Leadership Development:

1. Be in the driver’s seat and define the characteristics and competencies of the leader before searching for them.  Go slow to go fast later.

2. Have intentionality when nominating and be aware of generations, experience, etc.

3. Look at someone’s capacity to invest and be a non-partisan visionary.  Focus on the ‘what’ and let the team take care of the ‘how’.

4. Passionate leaders can hurt the organization by dominating and burning out, leaving a vacuum.  Rotate chairs, bring in new blood, be open to non-conventional sources for membership and leadership talent.

5. Create a Leadership College that requires skin in the game with an intention of growing leaders of all ages.

6. Create term limits to encourage leaders to get things done.

7.  Observe people in the organization and ask them to serve.  Also give permission to some not to serve.  Passion leads to vision, and leadership takes time.  Leadership development is a commitment to the individual.

8.  Develop a program to reach out locally for leaders and take the crop of the Top 25 into a 2 day immersion program.  That creates a win-win by increasing the pipeline of leaders long term and benefits the firm who sends the leader to the immersion program in the short term.

Leading From Behind:

1.Communicate and have dialogue on new leaders to convey mutual expectations at the beginning of the year.

2. Get everyone on the same page – mission, objectives, etc.  Get buy in and then throw out ideas to the Board, let them digest, and don’t push.

3. Associations of the future blend a combination of pushing and pulling.  The art is leading down a path and making it look like it’s from behind.  Look toward peer organizations throughout the country for models and inspiration.

4. Ask questions to get others thinking like you.

5. Identify the train wreck before it happens, identify issues, and help leaders think beyond the way they think.  Sensitize them to what they can make progress on.

6. Define outcomes and let the Board make decisions and mistakes.

7. Find the “why” of leadership and for the organization.

8. Resist setting an agenda as the Executive and encourage other’s input.

Also, if you are interested in a great video on how leaders inspire action, check out Simon Sinek’s TED Talk

The AENC Association Executive Roundtable was facilitated by Sarah Levitt, Executive Coach and Motivational Speaker.
To learn more about executive coaching and workshops: sarah@sarah-levitt.com, 919.210.8532, www.sarah-levitt.com.