No matter what anybody tells you, good leadership involves a lot of skills that people can easily learn. One of those skills is conducting a good meeting. If you're about to be a president or a committee chairman, you might wish to review these slides. And if you need one-on-one coaching on other leadership skills, contact judith at judithlindenau dot com.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Leadership sage John Maxwell says "Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." That is to say, a leader influences a group to a successful outcome.
My question is, if this is true, how do we 'teach' leadership? and those annual ho-hums we association managers structure as Leadership Conferences? How can we better direct them toward the goal of producing leaders who have followers, and who bring about change?
Here's the link to a good how-to article on producing videos for your association: http://waves.wavgroup.com/dona-039-t-forget-about-video-when-you-are-edutizing
I have a couple of thoughts about this article. The first is (sorry, Victor) I hate the word 'edutizing'. What the Minneapolis Association of Realtors is doing is no different, I think, than my local hospital's information hotline of pre-recorded phone messages about different diseases and medical conditions. And that we call a 'public service'--we didn't make up a word.
The point here is that what the MAR is doing is admitting that the public is also an association customer. Yes, the product is delivered to the public via the member, but the point is the video is designed for the PUBLIC to watch--e minutes or less in length, authoritative voice, local application, easy to share and access.
That's an important concept, I think. Trade associations often think in terms of 'members'--check your mission statement and see if it's true of yours. But focus on members often leads to tunnel vision: our members, after all, focus on their various publics. So why not draw the public into your association community?
How might you do that? Of course you can do public education (er, 'edutizing'). Consumer videos, hot lines, website forums, white papers on crucial topics of consumer interest--like agency). Or how about a consumer 'membership'? One association I know registered new buyers and sellers of real estate as 'consumer members'. They gave these members a free property owner magazine (supported by advertising, of course) and at the end of a year, billed them a small fee to keep the interested ones on the rolls. What did the association get out of this? Some income from the magazine, of course, But also a good mailing list for other important things like, say, a legislative mobilization against some restrictive zoning proposal, or perhaps for an invitation to the annual trade show.
The lesson here? When we're thinking about social networking in an association setting, think beyond the membership network. And the same with the services you produce--think 'public'. The goodwill returned to your association and its members will help maximize the effect of your PR budget.
Maybe there's a reason for the word 'edutizing' after all.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A follow-up to my last post: the California Association of Realtors iPhone application for members. What's interesting about the WAV Group's interpretation is that (1) the app is truly useful to members' business and not just created in the vain hope that more members will "get involved" by reading the newsletter, and (2) it's available for licensing by other associations. Seems like a win-win philosophy for members, the CAR, and the rest of Realtor organizations.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Designed for the iPhone/iTouch, with a companion version available for BlackBerry® and other web-enabled mobile devices, the My C.A.R. mobile application features: market data for twenty-one regions in California, current loan information, highlights from C.A.R’s Market Matters newsletter, association resources, the ability to search for license renewal and continuing education courses, hot item news alerts, and links to information that may be of interest to C.A.R. Directors.
The California Association of Realtors is taking a proactive role (again) in reaching its members, this time with a mobile app which is free to members, and which offers members valuable professional services like market statistics and license renewal information as well as easy access to member services, newsletters, and education courses. There also appears to be special features for association directors. And the beauty of this is that it's available on iTunes, where one assumes members are already happily downloading all the other shiny new program, books, tunes and movies for their iPhones! Now that's association outreach!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
This is the seventh or so year I’ve attended the Lake Ann Homecoming. I was pretty skeptical about the event the first time: one of our band members asked us if we’d like to play for this event and it was important to her, since she lived near this quiet little town and was friendly with the residents. Several of us agreed to go…small town celebrations are good entertainment on a lazy Saturday.
But I thought homecomings were only for high schools and colleges looking for alumni money. I was familiar with the football captains and huge mums and kings and queens. I, of course, was always a marching band member freezing my piccolo-playing fingertips during the half-time program.
But a community homecoming on the Fourth of July weekend? I’d never heard of such a thing. (Later I learned that ‘Homecomings’ are popular in communities the world—in Eleuthera, every town has a homecoming every year: just another reason to party in the Bahamas!)
Lake Ann’s Homecoming seemed like a pretty smart idea though: it’s a town where many property owners are summer residents—they bought cottages so they could spend a part of the year on the pretty inland lake, and many of them work summers at Interlochen, the nearby fine arts camp. It was natural that they’d be around during the Fourth of July, and many of the year round residents would have family members returning for the holiday.
So, a party was in order! Lake Ann has a pretty park, right in the middle of town—well, actually, the park IS the middle of town. It’s surrounded by the gas station, the grocery, two restaurants, the library and town hall, and a church—and that’s the sum total of Lake Ann (known by the locals as “L.A.”) Anyway, years ago the party started there, though now it’s expanded down the road a block to the fire hall.
Here’s what you do at the homecoming:
· Watch the tractor and old car parade
· Buy an “I luv LA” sticker for $2 to support the fun
· Munch hot dogs and cotton candy, or eat barbeque and beans in the town hall. Or both.
· Visit the Almira Township Museum to see the farm implement display
· Dunk your minister and/or the mayor in the dunk tank
· Check out the library used book table ($1 per bag of books, bring ‘em back next year)
· Ride in the fire truck or the hay wagon
· Get your face painted
· Buy stuff from the craft tables and ‘antique’ tents (you need that crocheted toilet paper cover)
· Bid in the silent auction (a bent-twig rocking chair for your living room, maybe?)
· Take a pony ride (not for the larger people)
· Watch the kids jump around in the inflatable gym
· Snooze under the old oak trees and listen to the live music
· Pat other people’s dogs
· Greet old friends and get introduced to new ones
Don’t plan on anything as fancy as a kazoo band or a beer tent or fireworks at the end of the day. This is simply small town America celebrating friends and relatives and relationships. It’s what the Fourth of July is all about.
(aerial photo by Sally Arnold)