At a recent lunch with several top association CEOs, it was pointed out that common traits of their leadership skills was their ability to listen, to bring together different factions, and to know their limits and surround themselves with people “who are smarter than me.”
Of all of those, I think listening is probably the most important, although one can argue that all three pretty much share the same plane. But listening (as opposed to taking orders, which is not listening) allows you to hear your members, or staff, or colleagues or your board. When you have all of their perspectives, you can then ruminate on it and then come to an informed opinion. This in turn leads to seeing a clear path for the executive to take his or her association. As one executive put it, “I see the right way to go, I just have to get people to follow me. Sometimes, kicking and screaming.”
How many of you value the art of listening? Do you feel confident when you don’t hear a perspective straight from the horse’s mouth? How many of your members have you lost because maybe they felt they weren’t being heard?
Speaking of a lunch table of really smart people, the TRENDS Salute to Association Excellence is just 2 weeks away. Now that’s a room of America’s top association executives as well as communications professionals. Who will take gold, silver and bronze at the TRENDS All Media Contest? The suspense is killing us, too. We’ll all find out at the Salute! Click here to register, only a few seats remain!