Managing Leadership So it Doesn’t Manage You!
A common question CEO’s and support staff often ask me is, “How do I get my leadership to focus on the big issues facing the association and not waste time at Board meetings discussing trivial or operational matters?” Having experienced this problem for years, I finally discovered not only the cause but a solution!
First the cause, leaders and directors have a constant nagging need to “know what is going on” lest they appear uninformed or unaware as to what is going on at the Association. They feel the need to have answers to any question a colleague might ask concerning the association’s business. This is of course not true, but some elected leaders feel a responsibility to not only know the “ins and outs” of the administrative side of the association but be an expert in it.
They also feel left out of the loop if they come to a Board meeting and an item being discussed is one they do not have complete knowledge in. While it’s true you probably sent them an extensive packet of reading materials well in advance of the meeting, it still may not be enough to satisfy their questions or concerns.
Solution: Send them small bits of timely information on a weekly basis. Create a “Friday Afternoon Update” on some of the weeks activities. The email message should be short, bullet points work best and personalize it.
Example: BOD Friday Update
We had a great week at the Association, here are a few highlights:
Took in 12 new members and increased our total membership count to 1, 238
37 Realtors attended our CE class on Wednesday, great reviews
We are over budget on snow removal but underbudget on office supplies
We sent out a “Call to Action” on the State licensing issue
MLS statistics tell us listings are down over last year, but sales are up
Congratulations to Jack, his wife Heather just gave birth to another baby boy!
Have a great weekend, don’t forget to mention our Legislative reception at your office meeting!
It’s next Thursday, 5:30 pm, see you there!
Relevant Facts and Gentle Reminders
By providing a steady stream of relevant facts and gentle reminders, you get your point across without overwhelming them with so much information at one time they just tune you out.
Remember Realtors are busy professionals with a life outside of the REALTOR® family. While you may be focused 100% on Association’s issues and concerns, they are not. It is our responsibility as Association Executives to control the BOD agenda so issues of relevance concerning the prosperity of our members are being discussed and acted upon. If Directors feel ill-informed about the small pieces that make up the Association, they will have a hard time concentrating on the larger ones.
A weekly one-page email does not take a lot of time to prepare and send it. You will find it time well spent and it will go a long way in helping the leadership feel more informed and comfortable in their role.
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