Trips to the gym the first month of a new year usually speak volumes about human nature. Bodies, a little overweight from the holidays, dot the landscape. Every treadmill is in use. Inclines are higher than usual. Pace is top speed. I chuckle as I think about the story of the ‘tortoise and hare’ wondering how many of these exercising bodies will last the test of time or by March will be on to some other form of exercise. Yet, I applaud their willingness to get started. Yet, for many, I question whether they developed a plan of action before diving into their routine.
The same is true for association professionals. We know that knowledge is key to success, yet more times than not we allow the “urgent” to get in the way and never develop a plan for achievement. We think about sitting for the Certified Association Executive (CAE) exam. We think about a cracking open the latest book on membership management. We think about diving deeper into a particular aspect of association management. Often, little or nothing gets off the drawing board.
Here’s my challenge to you: give yourself the gift of knowledge and share that knowledge with those around you. Sounds simple but I realize it is not. Develop a plan and work the plan. Don’t take on more than you can accomplish. Set a realistic timeline. Enlist a colleague or friend to keep you accountable.
Where can you start?
Certified Association Executive (CAE). Seventy percent of CAE test takers report enhanced knowledge, improved advancement opportunities, and elevated status in their current position as motivation. The CAE has widespread recognition and can open doors, creating new and valuable connections. Applications for the May 6 exam is February 26.
Qualified Association Specialist. This 12-module certificate program covers various aspects of running an association – everything from organizational structure and governance to membership and government relations. It is designed to help those new to association management and can be a good ‘refresher’ for those who have a CAE.
Conference Attendance. Mark your calendar for May 25 – 27, 2016. In addition to stand-alone subject sessions, new this year will be three specialized learning tracks for staff, seasoned CEOs, and those new to the role of management.
On-Line Learning. Review the listing of specialized topics available through CSAE’s online learning. It’s a great way to receive top training on your terms from experts across the nation.
Read Daily. Blogs, social media posts, and news snippets are good but don’t rob yourself of in-depth learning that comes from picking up a book and absorbing a new idea or concept.
2016 can be a winner if you have a plan and work the plan. Don’t get sidetracked. Make ‘knowledge’ a key element within your New Year’s Resolutions.