An Executive Director's point of view


February 07, 2018: At home with a sick child

Posted by: David M Patt
It happens...a lot.

November 24, 2017: Perfectionism

Posted by: David M Patt

March 09, 2017: Start me up

Posted by: David M Patt
Sometimes, you need a trigger to start the day.

January 02, 2017: Give 'em some slack

Posted by: David M Patt
Don't stand at the front door every morning noting the time your employees arrive at work. Doing that will reduce productivity and office morale.

Yes, some jobs in association offices are time-specific and you may need to periodically monitor the people who hold those jobs.

But do it in a more private manner. And keep in mind that people who occupy time-specific positions are often oriented to that way of working. They like specific starting and ending times. They don't need to constantly be policed.

But many, many jobs in associations are not time-specific. Employees holding those positions need to complete specific tasks, not simply keep a chair warm for specific hours.

If you penalize people for not starting work at what you consider to be "on time," they won't extend themselves at the end of the day. They'll just drop what they are doing rather than stay longer and finish.

So, loosen up. Worry about tasks completed, not about the hours spent engaged in those tasks.

October 14, 2016: Too much work

Posted by: David M Patt
People work too much. And they frequently brag about it.

How they didn't get much sleep last night. Or how early they arrived at the office yesterday. Or how they missed their child's birthday party, as if that was a badge of honor. Or how long it's been since they've seen their spouse or kids.

They want you to know they work all the time. And that they really don't have a personal life.

Here's a different way of working.

August 03, 2015: Remote communication

Posted by: David M Patt
When working remotely, try to schedule times to meet face-to-face with your boss and with co-workers to discuss matters that can be handled more efficiently in person, or things that should not appear in print.

Email and texting may be appropriate for many communications, but they leave a published trail (which you may not want), they don't allow for voice inflectons or visual clues, and they minimize the positive impact of your personality.

Telephone, Skype, and other communication venues may be useful when talking with people in other states or countries.

But nothing beats face-to-face conversations. Find a way to conduct them as frequently as possible.

June 25, 2015: Criticizing co-workers

Posted by: David M Patt
In an association where I was the CEO, the staffer who was supposed to compile packets that day for an upcoming event assured me she would have everything done on schedule - provided she received all of the materials she needed.

That was her way of telling me that her co-worker who was supposed to have prepared those materials had not done so.

Don't ever accept blame for something that is not your fault. But be careful about criticizing your co-workers whose fault it is. That could make you an outcast on the staff and cause people to stop cooperating with you (or even talking to you).

So, get the message across to your boss tactfully and, if possible, innocently (like she did), so that the situation can be corrected and you aren't labeled a tattler.

March 17, 2015: Work is not a place

Posted by: David M Patt
"Work is something you do, not a place you go to," proclaimed Sherry Marts, in a vibrant thread on ASAE's Collaborate.

Too many associations and businesses, though, focus on where and when employees do their work.

Instead, they should focus on the results of that work. That's what matters.

November 17, 2014: Whatever works

Posted by: David M Patt
It doesn't matter if you take notes on a legal pad, a laptop, or a tablet. And it doesn't matter how you get your news - as long as you receive what you need, when you need it.

Use whatever tools or habits will enable you to succeed at what you want to succeed at. Whether it is "new" or "old" does not matter.

Just do whatever works.

October 29, 2014: Micromanagers

Posted by: David M Patt
Here's a quiz you don't want to pass.
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