Tag Archives: #WeLeadIABC

Are you a Martyr?

Learning to lead so others can shine

Many of us had a wake-up call at Leadership Institute last week in San Diego. Our keynote workshop with Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, hit home as she pegged a style of volunteer leadership that leads to:

  • Long hours.
  • Burn out.
  • Zero ability to recruit and engage with board members and other volunteers.

We all know the type and some of us resemble them — they give 110 percent because they care. They work long, hard hours. So, what’s the problem? It is killing our volunteer pool and in some cases our chapters.

Cynthia encouraged us to:

  • Move beyond saying ‘we’ve always done it that way’ by owning results and allowing others to get involved so they too own the results.
  • Develop people rather than doing all the work ourselves. (Who would want to take our place if we are modeling a job that is all work and zero fun?)
  • Invite people to a fun and meaningful experience – rather than expecting them to do everything our way. (Let go and let others take charge. It might not be how we would do it, but they will be engaged and they will want to do it again.)
  • Celebrate the work of others – rather than moan about all the work we’ve had to do ourselves. (Every time we volunteer to do something ourselves, we just stole an opportunity for someone else to shine.)

So, our work and success will be shared with others. We will become masters at giving others the opportunity to shine. The more others shine, the more fun the group will have and before you know it – your community is growing.

This is leadership, as opposed to managing a chapter, region or even the international board. With this style of leadership, there is more focus on getting others involved to be part of the solution. So basically, if we stop being a martyr, it gives others a chance to be engage. The trick? We have to do it before it’s too late.

Cynthia reminded us that people join a community for one of three reasons:

  1. To learn something new.
  2. To help others – a chance to give back.
  3. To meet new people and grow their network.

Cynthia’s best advice for recruiting volunteers or chapter leaders, is that we must first determine which of the three hot buttons motivates each person.

  • If they are new to the profession or want to keep their skills sharp, share about your chapter’s programs and opportunities to participate in putting those on.
  • If they are searching for a way to give back – maybe they want to present a program.
  • If they simply want to grow their network, introduce them to others in the room and invite them back to your next event.

As Cynthia said – “you can’t go too far on the first date. Wait to ask about board service until you have them hooked. Pull them in, instead of pushing them away.”

Even the invitation to our events should contain the answers to all three hot buttons (learn, help and meet) so we are offering something to everyone.

For those of us in the room at LI, it became clear that if we are a martyr leader, we are keeping others from getting involved and having their opportunity to shine. There is an art to leadership – and that art is about knocking down roadblocks and empowering others to succeed.

Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way!

———-

Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, is author of The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Results. For twenty years she has worked with association leaders and staff to help get more members involved using a relationship-based approach.

Thank you to these sponsors for our keynote speaker Cynthia D’Amour. A special shout-out to the women leaders of the IABC Tulsa Chapter that made this possible with donations from their companies.

Countdown to #IABC1720

Recap on the road to a new 3-year strategy

#longread – it has been a journey!

With the annual gathering of the IABC tribe (aka World Conference) kicking off this weekend, excitement is building to launch a new cycle for the future.

We launched a global listening tour in September using Appreciative Inquiry – to engage our community in creating a shared understanding of what we value most to bring forward into 2020 and beyond.

We shared some great stories, experiences and achievements to bring out the best in us.

“You come for the professional development, you stay for the people”, “IABC peers are like family” and “IABC has honed my leadership skills more than any paid gig” are but three examples of what we value as a united peer community. See #IABC1720 for highlights of this journey.

The strength of passion and purpose to advance the profession within our global network cannot be overstated – and it will take a commitment to collaborative leadership to bring this new strategy cycle to life. Fortunately, IABC leaders have this in spades!

Throughout the strategy development work, the International Executive Board, regional and chapter leaders participated where we:

  • Held World Café sessions in all 8 IABC regions.
  • Leveraged Leadership Institute in February for feedback on our statements of strategic intent, field tested the draft #IABC1720 framework and invited leaders to explore “Freedom in a Framework” to align their strategic plans to collaboratively deliver local value.
  • Conducted interviews with global executives to gauge industry pulse.
  • Drew insights from a range of industry trend reports.
  • Liaised across committees to socialize the strategic priorities and gain input.

We are a diverse global community – it is our greatest strength but also our greatest challenge. How can we deliver relevant value across a broad spectrum of needs?

For associations, this doesn’t change at the core: It’s to continue to help members be successful in what matters most to them – supporting through education and insights, credentialing, community exchange and advocacy for the profession. What changes over time is the format and content of programming – and how we create opportunities for people to access it and engage each other to learn and grow.

For communicators in a rapidly changing business landscape, it means a commitment to adapt and develop new multi-disciplinary skills and demonstrate impact on key business outcomes.

Recall the Top Three Professional Challenges cited in our Global Membership Survey:

  • Being included in the strategy and planning efforts within organizations
  • Demonstrating the value of communications to internal/external clients
  • Keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the field

This, from over 18,000 respondents where 72% have more than 10 years experience in the field.

Business leader interviews we conducted confirmed this familiar story: Communicators need to demonstrate business acumen and prove their ability to drive key business results. This is where we take our cue for advancing the profession over the next three years.

It’s time to prove the impact of strategic communications using #insightsandresults and to develop strategic communicators – through the Global Standard and certification – to become trusted business advisors.

What comes next? We vote at the AGM tomorrow to affirm our strategic intent

Input on these new Vision/Purpose/Philosophy statements was enthusiastic and incorporated into revisions approved by the International Executive Board to go forward to AGM vote. A special thank you to Ginger D. Homan, IABC secretary/treasurer and #IABC1720 co-author for leading this essential exercise to conclusion.

The three elements of the Purpose statement – Advance the Profession, Create Connection and Develop Strategic Communicators – form the pillars of the proposed framework for the 2017-2020 strategic plan.

As we look to the future, IABC’s next three years will aim to advance the profession through a proactive approach to thought leadership and by helping communicators realize their strategic potential as business advisers to prove their impact on the organizations they serve.

With this framework approved,  work to tie strategy to action for the 2017-18 term begins immediately at the International Executive Board meeting on Sunday. Stay tuned here for more as we put our best foot forward – together!

In my role as Vice Chair this year, it has been a privilege to lead this planning process. A note of sincere thanks to the 2016-17 board, regional, chapter and committee leaders for your time and ongoing engagement in this important work – and to our hardworking staff.

And finally, thank you to members and Gold Quill winners whose commitment to professional practice advances our standards of excellence each and every day.

Hope to see you here in Washington! #IABC17 awaits!

Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair