Category Archives: Leadership

Tips and Tricks for Strengthening Your Association’s Volunteer Leaders

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

I remember reading this great blog by my colleague Will Ferguson about being a volunteer leader.  In it, he provides some great tips for those looking to become involved in an association, such as selecting a volunteer position, being present, following through and knowing when to step back.

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As I read through it, I couldn’t help but think about the other side of the equation – managing volunteer leaders.  I always say that volunteers are the heart of the association and staff members are the legs.  The staff can do the heavy lifting, but the organization is dead without the heart – the volunteers.  Continue reading Tips and Tricks for Strengthening Your Association’s Volunteer Leaders

Greek Recruitment Tips for Networking

By: Shelly Joines

This time 10 years ago, I was preparing for what was my final time being involved in recruitment through my sorority at Florida State University. While it felt like a time consuming tradition at the moment, it taught me more than I could imagine about networking and interviewing. You see, opening up and engaging with people isn’t a natural skill for all so knowing ways to make other people comfortable and helping manage a conversation (at a conference luncheon let’s say) is a special skill.

We’ve shared several blogs about networking and how to do it properly, wearing your badge on the right lapel, preparing an elevator speech and asking questions, but we haven’t really laid out conversation starters and more importantly ways to keep the conversation going. Continue reading Greek Recruitment Tips for Networking

How To: Be a Volunteer Leader

By: William Ferguson

Volunteering with an organization is a great way to meet new people, find a mentor, give back to your community, and even further your career. As association professionals, we spend so much of our time focused on helping our volunteer leaders that we forget there is another side to the volunteer coin: serving.

I think that, for most of us, the reason we are in non-profit management is because we want to help. We want to solve problems. We want to help create solutions. In short, we want to change the world – even if it’s just through helping change the regulations for widget makers.

If you’re in a position where you’re not quite feeling enough challenge, or if you want to branch out and gain some leadership experience, why not consider joining a committee? There are many volunteer opportunities such as serving on a board of directors or committee, chairing a fundraising event, speaking, or even acting as a greeter at an event. Continue reading How To: Be a Volunteer Leader

Continuing Education for a Young Professional

By: Lindsey Rowan

There I was, twenty-four years old, just a year and a half into my career, attending my first FSAE (Florida Society of Association Executives) Annual Conference. During the very first breakout session, the speaker asked for a show of hands of the CEOs in the room. When nearly half of the room raised their hand, I felt intimidated. Are people wondering what I’m doing here? Am I even qualified to be here? Continue reading Continuing Education for a Young Professional

Orlando Shooting Leads to Lessons Learned in Association Crisis Management

By: John Ricco, CAE

Not in a million years did I think that I would find myself connected (even tangentially) to a major event that would grip the nation. This changed with the June 12 Orlando mass shootings. In my role as Executive Director of the Florida Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association, the FCCFA membership was called upon to aid state and local governments with their process of identification and transportation of the deceased and then later to serve their families by providing funerals and memorials services. Continue reading Orlando Shooting Leads to Lessons Learned in Association Crisis Management

How to Avoid “Bored” Orientations

By: Rachel Luoma, CAE

Recently, John Ricco, MPA, CAE, and I had the pleasure of speaking at Building Better Boards – an annual training seminar designed by Leadership Tallahassee for novice & veteran not-for-profit board members & staff about board orientations.

One of the key areas that we discussed was the importance of incorporating principles of adult learning into the orientation process.Leadership Tallahassee

Why Adult Learning? Continue reading How to Avoid “Bored” Orientations

The Association Arch Nemesis

By: Kristi Spargo

There’s always one. You know who it is. Shortly after a new member joins the board everyone is up in arms. Whispers of contention ripple throughout the ranks and the battle lines are being drawn. Issues that you never even knew were issues suddenly have the potential to implode the inner workings of your association. In the eye of the storm stands: The Difficult Board Member.  As staff, it can be challenging to determine when and how to step in to keep the business of the association moving forward without getting bogged down in the personality politics. Boards are made up of professionals of many different personality types who donate their time for the good of the cause; it would definitely not be conducive to say “Nah, no thanks” to the difficult board member who wants to volunteer their service. So what’s the answer? Continue reading The Association Arch Nemesis