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Achieving goals.

Don't pay the high price of low priorities.

If you step away from your volunteer leadership experience with anything less than a sense of deep satisfaction, chances are you will have paid a high price for some low priorities. Based on my years as an association executive and frequent volunteer leader, I have formed a list of do's and don'ts that you may able to use to enhance and achieve your aims and aspirations. * Do look upon your association's professional staff as a vital resource. Even if you can't always heed staff's advice, listening to it will multiply your effectiveness tenfold. * Don't major in minors. Focusing on administration to the exclusion of long-term issues hurts everyone. * Do pick the few most important projects and concentrate your time, talent, and energy where it will show. * Don't come to the table with a hidden agenda. Get everything out on the table, openly and with candor. It is still the best policy. * Do work hard at communicating. If you expect someone to spend 10 hours writing for you, then you owe that person at least 1 hour to explain what you want to say. I call this the "10 percent solution" to speech writing. Then rehearse. * Don't try to resolve staff problems alone. Go the association's chief staff executive. It is the staff executive's job, and he or she has knowledge of other assignments, pressures, and problems that might be affecting a staff member's performance. * Do emulate your most admired past chief elected officer. This helps set your sails and chart a worthy course, flatters your role model, and gives the staff and volunteer leadership an institutional compass. * Lastly, do have fun. A smile will increase your face value.

Roderick L. Geer, CAE, an experienced association executive and volunteer, is now vice president and chief of staff at the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, New Jersey.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society of Association Executives
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Geer, Roderick L.
Publication:Association Management
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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