5 Steps to Becoming a Great Association Leader

Follow these 5 steps and become and expert in association leadership
Follow these 5 steps and become and expert in association leadership

Leadership isn’t easy. You’re either sharing the praise or taking all of the heat, a position many of your staff don’t envy.

Still, embracing an association leadership role is rewarding (that’s why you’re reading this!). Not only do your leadership decisions impact staff, but hundreds or thousands of members.

So how do you become an expert in association leadership?

1) Increase your outreach

Members want to be in the loop. They want to know what’s going on in their industry, what’s available to them and how they can improve their skillset. But poor communication or limited access to the leadership group among an association can be damaging to your relationship with members.

Be accessible, to a reasonable extent, to members with questions. Maybe that means a monthly Q&A appearance on your association’s community platform. Or, you could start a weekly newsletter in which you share industry insight or helpful tips.

By making yourself available, you’ll earn some points from members and staff alike.

2) Be the expert

Whenever your association deploys some new tech staff-wide, someone always becomes the go-to resource. Why not step up to the plate?

Teach staff how to make better use of their reporting and analytics. Or, be the first at your association to master your new event management module or email marketing integration. Staff will come to appreciate your dedication.

You could also join a group of fellow leaders in a community outside of your daily association duties. The leadership of the Protech Users Group serves as a perfect example. A PUG leader recently hosted a learning webinar of her own, offering fellow Protech users some insight into cool functions of the Association Management Software.

Try something similar for yourself. By providing value to your staff, members or an entirely different demographic, your reputation as a leader will grow rapidly.

3) Put your staff in position for success

This is a tough one. The wrong new resource or tool could make you a pariah around the office. Bring in the right new software or hardware — one that’s easily adopted and increases productivity? You’ll be the office hero.

Similar to step 2, a strong leader needs to be an expert in their tech. If you bring on any new office resource — whether it’s a new copier, coffee machine or computer software — it needs to provide value. Make sure you’re always on the hunt for new ways to engage your staff. If you put them in position for success, that success will trickle down to your members.

4) Use professional development

Members thrive with the help of professional development course offered by your very own association. Why not take a page out of your own playbook and try PD for yourself?

There are plenty of leadership courses to choose from, so be sure to stay on the lookout for the next opportunity to learn.

5) Keep things personal

Perhaps the best advice to becoming a strong association leader is to make your presence known around the office. Get out there. Find out what’s on the minds of your staff. Ask what members are up to. Communication is key. It’ll earn you some respect while building staff self-esteem and confidence.

The most straightforward way to become a strong association leader? Make smart decisions. Informed decisions are made easy with the functions-rich Alliance by Protech system, the first and leading AMS built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. Want to learn more? The Protech Associates team is eager to help.