An Executive Director's point of view
May 05, 2013: Slow down, you move too fast
The 600+ page tome is the fourth volume in what I expected would be, in 1982 (when the first book was published), the beginning of a trilogy chronicling the history, politics, personality, and decision-making angst of a complex leader who made a major impact on our nation's development. As this book ends before Johnson's re-election, there will probably be at least one more volume to follow.
Well, it's been awhile since I've read the first three books, and I've spent a great deal of my time since then consuming blogs, web sites, newsletters, and cut-to-the-chase news items related to association management.
I've become accustomed to reading a lot of stuff very quickly.
This book cannot be read quickly.
It demands to be absorbed slowly, carefully, and with a genuine appreciation for brief happenings that might normally have gone unnoticed, but that actually played pivotal roles in political developments at the time.
It requires settling into a comfortable chair, stepping gently into the pages of history, and becoming a part of that history - listening to conversations between now-deceased decision-makers, eavesdropping on strategy meetings of powerful political leaders, observing players wending their way through career-challenging minefields, and learning secrets that may no longer be secrets, but were at one time.
It will take awhile for me to experience each chapter as it should be experienced. My pleasure reading will need to be sandwiched between work tasks, blog writing, grocery shopping, and relaxing wind-downs on YouTube.
But when I do read, the world around me will slow to a crawl. I won't hear the battery-inspired tick of the clock, I won't see the flash of digital time-keepers, I won't fret about deadlines that must be met.
I'll enjoy a less hectic pace and not think at all about how long it may take to soak up the knowledge, the information, and the political intrigue waiting to be revealed in the pages and chapters of the text.
And I'll turn off my cell phone while I read.
April 30, 2013: Don't come out of your shell
That may sometimes be true, but it doesn't mean you have to do it.
So what if you miss opportunities? You may also miss the anxiety, the worries, and the fears of doing things you don't want to do and things you don't feel comfortable doing (and things you may not be very good at doing).
So let them pass.
When you want those opportunities, you'll grab them. And you won't be anxious or worried or fearful of them. You won't have to leave your comfort zone. Your comfort zone will expand to take them in.
Don't come out of your shell until you are ready.
April 16, 2013: Certification dilemma
Certification requirements had become more stringent and many members objected to taking more classes and, especially, sitting for more exams.
They felt that members who had met the new certification requirements were merely trying to build a professional advantage over those who hadn't.
Nothing was done about that and the rate of certification renewal continued to drop.
The value of certification is likely to diminish when members don't value it.
So, be sure to address the reasons for non-renewal and identify ways of prompting certified members to maintain their certification. Don't just write them off as grumpy, unprofessional colleagues.
April 10, 2013: Dress sensibly
So I wore a heavy sweater and winter shoes. I was the only person at the meeting not clad in business attire.
Every person in the room told me they wished they could dress that way, too.
So why didn't they?
Always dress appropriately, not just for the business you are conducting, but also for the conditions in which you are working.
Adhering to a rigid dress code all of the time is dumb. Shivering in cold and sweating in heat is dumb.
Don't be dumb.
February 08, 2013: Redundancy on LinkedIn
Starting multiple conversations on the same issue leads to a fragmented discussion. People are not going to post the same comments in each group, and issues discussed in one won't benefit from comments in another.
So, stick to one post. Unless your real goal is to be seen by lots of people and the post is merely the vehicle you use to do that.
February 01, 2013: Please hold...
Is that too much?
January 18, 2013: Just call it something else
Maybe associations should call conference registration fees "benefits." Membership fees can be called "rewards." Product sales would become "savings."
I wonder if that would result in people buying more stuff from associations.
January 10, 2013: Nobody was qualified
But sometimes, there may not be any members who qualify for some awards.
Sure, awards presentations offer marketing opportunities for the organization. But if nobody meets the standards for an award that year, it may be best not to present that award at all. The standards for award winners should not be lowered just to snare some publicity.
Some people are complaining about the Baseball Hall of Fame not naming any new members this year. Those folks may be more concerned about marketing than about quality.
December 23, 2012: Don't do these things
1. Use the handicapped bathroom stall if you are not handicapped;
2. Grab a vegetarian box lunch at an event when you didn't order one;
3. Leave a beverage cup (filled or empty) on an exhibit table;
4. Eat or drink food from the office frig that you know is not for you - even if there is no name on it;
5. Throw away recyclable materials in the regular garbage;
6. Hog the office copier for a big job without first informing co-workers;
7. Leave unwashed dishes and silverware in the office sink;
8. Play music in the office that others can hear;
9. Ignore the intercom;
10. Chitchat with the receptionist when calls are coming into the office.
November 07, 2012: Leaving a mess
When producing an event for your association, always clean up when you are finished.