Some people say great leaders are born. Others say great leaders are made. Either way you spin it, though, there’s always room for improvement.
Not sure how to become a better leader? Take notes from the best! Here are five habits of highly effective association leaders:
1. They know how to delegate.
A big part of leadership involves delegation - knowing how to divide tasks, who to assign tasks to, etc. But while all leaders delegate, the best ones delegate as they go. They make adjustments as needed. If someone is drowning in work, a good leader will step in and see how he or she (as well as others) can help. Workloads should be somewhat balanced, and a good leader understands that.
2. They see the big picture.
We all know how easy it is to get lost in the day-to-day shuffle of things - checking emails, running reports, completing projects/tasks, etc. And because new projects/tasks are always popping up, it’s sometimes easy to forget why we’re even doing them. But a good leader can see the big picture. They understand how all the little tasks add up, and consequently, they can help keep others focused.
Plus, if something doesn’t go exactly as planned (for example, a goal isn’t met or event attendance is low), a good leader can put that into perspective. They can remind people of the big picture and re-instill hope among the team.
3. They understand communication (how and when to do it).
The best leaders are those that understand communication. They know how to communicate with people (face-to-face vs. email, light-hearted tones vs. serious ones, etc.), as well as when. They know when to provide feedback and when to “sit back” and let others take the reigns. (This is actually one of the best skills professionals of any industry/job level can possess.)
4. They inspire action.
Good leaders inspire others. They work hard to the point where others want to work hard. They’re also extremely passionate - and that passion spreads. Good leaders don’t sit back and expect others to do the work. Instead, they’re the model for how the work should be done.
5. They practice the golden rule.
When it comes to effective leaders, the best of the best do this: They treat others the way they want to be treated, and 10 times out of 10, that’s with respect. They don’t put others down or tune people out. Instead, they build people up and take feedback/opinions in. And truth be told, if you want to have an impact on your staff and organization, this is the number one way to do it.
Being an association leader is tough. Not only do you have your staff members to manage/please, but you have your members to manage/please as well. Need a little help? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below. It’s filled with best practices for membership recruitment, engagement, retention and more!