Connections - Winter 2016 - (Page 19)

> Why Every Leader Needs a Magic Wand and Glass Slippers LEADING IS NOT always easy. In fact many association leaders would say leading is anything but. Rewarding and a welcome challenge on most days, yes, but not easy. What would make it easier? Much like magic and glass slippers, knowing the tricks of the trade and ensuring there is a good fit just might do the trick. Here are some skills that will lead to leadership running smoothly, members feeling at ease and staff staying longer - no magic wand necessary. Communication Communication as a leader is much more than just talking. Saying "just do your job and don't ask questions" is about as effective as expecting mice to lead a carriage. It goes beyond sharing a message and hoping they get it. It's about striving for clarity. To become a better leader, assess how often your team asks questions. Then, determine how often you have to repeat yourself. Take a close look at your agreement with this statement: My employees, bosses, board members, and co-workers seem to really get it and understand me. If your answer is anything less than "OH YES!" then communication is a leadership skill you want to address quickly. Clear communication that fits all team members is like finding the perfect glass slippers for all who help run the association. EQ Application Ask any leader if he or she has taken a personality profile, and the answer will likely be a resounding yes. However, you have to know what to do with the label an assessment gives you. Leaders who know who they are, how they operate and the level of stress BY MONICA WOFFORD they can tolerate find leading to be easy. They also can see how differences on the team have value. These leaders can assign projects based on natural skills and attributes, develop skills based on what motivates members of the team, and coach to more effective behaviors on every committee. EQ application is like having a magic wand when leading board members of an association. Boundary Creation Whether a leader is practicing delegation, time management or prioritization, each concept boils down to the need for effective boundary creation. In one recent coaching conversation, an executive complained of not being able to get her own work done because of frequent interruptions. This is a boundary issue. Whether you close the door, teach an assistant how to protect you from an unnecessary phone call or delegate a new skill to an employee, you need to set boundaries. Leading becomes easier when you train employees to respect boundaries you set and when you actually set some in the first place. As a leader, set time aside that is not to be interrupted. Teach that employee a new skill and then give them the space to practice - even make yourself unavailable for a time so they can figure out a solution. Boundary creation lets you work your magic and find the right fit without having everyone in the association being involved in the process of leading it. Effective Management Association leaders have employees, teams, boards and members to lead. All are not led the same. The central staff is often small, and those with much heavier impact on the direction of the association are those who've been around (maybe) too long. Those legacy members or overly involved volunteers can seem like difficult people who drain your energy and whom you'd like to make disappear. Yet an association CEO who serves at the pleasure of a board is faced with the need for finesse and effective management, which is different than people leadership. Fail to lead confidently, and they might see you as a doormat. Fail to manage input from all directions, and you might be asked for more than an explanation. Lead by employing effective management, including transparent communication, swift decisions on all staff issues and consistent follow through. These efforts will make your difficult people disappear and show your fit for this role is even better than Cinderella's glass slippers. Can leading an association be easy? Does it really require a magic wand and glass slippers? The analogies work well to remind you of key leadership skills. When communication flows, leaders know who they lead, boundaries are put in place, and consistent management of all who wish to be heard is the focus, your leadership of your association will appear magical. Monica Wofford, CSP, is a renowned leadership speaker. Author of "Contagious Leadership" and "Make Difficult People Disappear," she shares how to lead and manage. Join us at the GSAE Annual Meeting, June 1-3 in Athens, GA, to hear Monica speak. To contact her directly, visit or call (866) 382-0121. connections 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Winter 2016

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
Georgia Poultry Federation Goes All In with Avian Flu Communications
Take AIM with Your Communications in 2016
Promoting and Leveraging Your Meeting Content
Why Every Leader Needs a Magic Wand and Glass Slippers
GSAE Presents Annual Awards
GSAE Luncheon & Tradeshow
December Holiday Luncheon
Thought Leadership Meeting Tips
Destination: Atlanta
Choices: With All Due Respect, Let Us Speak
Index of Advertisers

Connections - Winter 2016