What is leadership worth to your association? How are you defining leadership to your volunteers? I aim not to make this a political post, but understandably there are some parallels I am trying to draw. As we continue to see what a vacuum of leadership looks like in Washington, I cannot help but think that this is not the type of leadership we expect from those elected to lead our country.
Leadership comes in many forms. Some claim they are leaders because the size of their bank account or because they can scream the loudest. Some are leaders because of the decisions they make, or in a lot of cases, do not make.
As association leaders, we are also elected to lead. To make decisions for the greater good of the organization and to represent the association. We want our Board of Directors to be representative of the individuals or companies they are there to serve. This often comes with a set of ethical requirements that they are asked to uphold. We put value in those ethics and values. We want to know that the folks that are there to lead are focused on doing just that and doing so with the best interest of those they serve in mind.
We put a value on that leadership, don’t we? We all chip in with our dues. Some with their time and energy to advance the mission of the association. We all have a stake in it. If one of your Board Members steps outside the line and acts out of that ethical norm or miss-represents the association, we act. It’s important to act because that individual represents us all. We expect more from them and to stand above the fray. We know that allowing the behavior to continue will only embolden others to push that line farther and farther away.
Is that not what we see leadership as? Someone that is willing to do what is best for the group? It is, or should be, the individual that values ethics and respect. Someone who is willing to rise above the petty issues of the day and keep focus on what is important.
It’s worth it to find those leaders. To find and work with the individuals who seek that higher standard and desire to lead in ways that are representative of the high standards we set for ourselves or the organizations we represent. When we fail to do that, we fail ourselves. When we value the right kind of leadership we value progress. These should not be hard decisions, they should be natural to us as individuals who respect each other and want what is best for those that we lead. So, I ask you, are you valuing leadership? What is it worth to your association to value the right kind of leadership and what is the cost if you do not?