There are many pathways to association leadership, but this blog will address two specifically: the association professional and the industry expert. When looking for a leader for a professional organization, you may be considering or seeking to consider both types. Here are the benefits and drawbacks to either! You can decide from there.
Association Leadership Pros
- Association leadership, the boring parts like paperwork and records, aren’t a problem
- Budgets are part of the skill set
- Association leaders are generally already good at networking
- A head for planning comes with their experience
- Organization, key for any association, is usually part of the skills as well
- Chances are he or she will already have an in with other association pros and valuable insiders
- Know the membership they serve incredibly well
- Has an inside look on the trends of the industry
- Better sense of what type of programming will work best
- Potentially already has an in with industry insiders and potential hiring managers
- Able to better introduce members to advantageous career connections
- Easier “in” with members assuming the role after a predecessor
This is not to say that one group lacks where the other excels. In fact, any individual could (and should) have a blend of these two skill sets. Ultimately when selecting a leader for your association, it comes down to any number of factors but the individual should shine through. You may think you NEED an association pro or an industry insider, but keep an open mind! You never know who will come across your desk.
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