Think about the committees, boards, chapter events, online communities, mentor programs, networking that excel and are the most effective. They all have a champion and that champion is usually a staff person.
One key to these program’s success is staff is dedicated to them. They spend time. Staff puts in effort. The staff is probably not out in front but rather making sure everything works behind the scenes. This champion cares.
There’s a natural tension for association staff. We don’t want to stand in the limelight. We want to give credit to members. We want share the leadership responsibilities with our member colleagues. So sometimes we back off but that may be the wrong impulse. For an association program to work, likely staff has to lean in, far in. Someone needs to steer. Every project needs a champion and that champion nine times out of ten is us.