Someone recently asked me what the key was to my long term success at the association where I spent nearly two decades as the chief executive officer. After all, the average tenure of an association executive is 9.7 years, according to the American Society of Association Executives.
That got me thinking about the most important factors that allowed us to sustain organizational growth and me to maintain enthusiasm over the long haul. Believing in the good we were doing and seeing the fruits of our many successes played a big role, but on reflection, it was more than this. These fundamentals of success can be applied whether or not you’re in it for the long haul.
Reinvention: You must continually reinvent yourself, your thinking and the organization.
Delegation: The key to this is to continually develop your staff so you can focus on new and exciting things that make mission sense.
Continual Change: Act as a catalyst for continual change, not just incremental change, but bold change.
Risk Tolerance: Be willing to be a risk taker. Have a plan to reduce the risk adversity of your board.
Learning Mind: Go to work each day seeking to learn something new.
Attitude: Believe in and love what you do. Keep it fun.
Patience: Don’t fight the universe. Be patient and wait for the right time to introduce new concepts, programs and change. Be strategic.
Regeneration: Take time to regenerate yourself and your thinking. Take a break and quiet your mind, through meditation or otherwise.
New Thinking: Be willing to challenge your own thinking. Continually expand your network to introduce new and diverse thinking.
Strategy: Don’t just have a great strategy, constantly think strategically. Have a long-term vision for the organization, even if you don’t entirely divulge it.
How do you remain enthusiastically engaged as you lead growth day after day and year after year?