Whether you are an association CEO, board chair, committee chair or an association VP or director you lead. Leaders in the very best sense use their position, their credibility, their integrity, their authenticity and their vision to advance people toward a goal. This is an incredibly powerful opportunity and deserves some reflection.
In this position we have an impact on other people. We impact jobs. We impact the viability of the association and we can advance or grow the profession or industry.
But it also means that we run the risk of doing damage to others, the mission, the association, even to ourselves. Because of both the opportunity and the risk it’s worth reflecting on our goals, our intentions, how we are perceived, how we can improve and how we can be more efficient and maybe even how we can have more fun doing all these things.
In a jammed packed day that starts before others get into the office and ends well after most other staff is already home how can we find time to reflect?
Find a conference that focuses on strategy, trends and innovation. The sessions, the keynotes and the thought leaders will give us something new to think about. Additionally the other attendees will likely be like us; thinking about leadership, thinking about change, thinking about how to navigate in uncharted waters. Great conferences will push us to reflect and give us time to reflect. Or what about attending a conference that does double duty: gives you time to reflect and is so engaging you can’t help but take notes on how this conference was hosted?
There are others like us. They may be hard to find but eventually we’ll find others who are experimenting, who are focused on culture and who are interested in being the kind of leaders they’d like to follow. This tiny team of soulmates, even if very geographically dispersed can provide a safe place to talk, listen and reflect.
Read & Write
Time traveling and in the car can be multi-purposed to listen to audio books or podcasts. This a amazingly cheap way to take thought-leader’s best ideas for a whirl. Reading introduces ideas but writing cements ideas. Through writing ideas become our own. Maybe we need to journal. Or maybe we blog. No matter the tool regular writing can be extremely important in thinking through experiences, examining the outcome and planning for the future.
What will be the defining characteristic of this decade? Maybe our busyness. Everyone is busy, there’s no time. Work is frantic. Busyness makes it difficult to reflect. At the same time reflecting is important to becoming the leader we want to be. Otherwise our leadership style pops out by default. Maybe we’ll be lucky or maybe we will reflect.
- The daily decision to get to 503 blog posts
- The solution to most association problems is practice
- Conferences give members permission to take time to learn