An Executive Director's point of view
November 14, 2013: Remember who brung ya
But they often forget, or just don't bother to remember, who helped them many years ago, when they really needed help.
So, don't forget the leaders whose efforts made your work possible. Invite them to major events (at no cost), list them on the web site, and relate their accomplishments when writing about past organizational activities (and you should write about past organizational activities).
Without the leaders of yesterday, your organization might not exist today.
October 16, 2013: Information overload, circa 1945
Thanks to Courtney Hunt for pointing to it.
September 03, 2013: Sharing personal info online
July 27, 2013: Hot dogs?
Culinary delights (if you can put hot dogs in that category) seem to generate a lot more discussion than do professional issues.
July 04, 2013: Beyond the barbeque
June 21, 2013: Who pays for free?
So, who's going to pay all the people who collect and craft that information?
June 13, 2013: Association salary data is bad PR
Perhaps that is meant to attract advertisers and subscribers to publications that specialize in posting association executive jobs. Or, it may be an attempt to lure corporate employees (and their dues-paying dollars) to the not-for-profit world by demonstrating how well-paid one can become.
But it's bad PR for the profession. Here's why:
1. It gives the impression that association professionals, CEOs in particular, earn extravagant salaries.
Some do, but most are paid far less than those whose compensation is itemized in these reports. So, the data is misleading - and makes us all look stinking rich.
2. It gives the impression associations are using big salaries to buy legislative power.
Well, that's true. Former Congressmen who are paid seven figure salaries as association CEOs weren't hired for their management or leadership expertise. They were hired for their access to former colleagues.
3. It disregards the huge financial divide between association professionals and the general public.
The 2010 median salary for an association CEO in the Chicago area with a budget between $500,000 and $1 million, for example, was $129,000.
That's higher than the average salary of United States governors.
The Governor of Wyoming, with 15,723 employees and a $3.2 billion dollar budget, is paid $105,000 per year. The average American family of four earns $50,000 per year.
It may seem natural to promote the financial advantages of participation in a profession or industry. And higher salaries may generate more respect for staff from some Board members.
But don't lose sight of how your profession - and your association - is viewed by other audiences that may also matter.
June 02, 2013: Printing tip
I'll remember that.
May 26, 2013: Numbers
It must be something about numbers.
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.