This quote is from Keith Woods, a great chamber mentor to many of us here today. It’s ok to be what you are…don’t worry about what others are doing. Know the history of your Chamber. Know what your members want, or at least what the big members expect. Be what you are and be the best you can be at it!
You can’t expect them to know what you do, when they have no clue what you do. So tell them. Help them be better board members: Train them Roberts Rules Have them sign off on what they are doing Make them feel like they are in charge Make them look good Robert Harris – www.rchcae.com
If everyone is happy, you probably aren’t doing your job. Get a thick skin
Control your emotions – Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman Have a good core group of mentors in the community If you make a mistake….Own IT! Someday you’ll be confronted with that defining moment in your career.
You have been put in a position in your community as a leader….always act that way! Are you leading or following. Are you a facilitator for change or hindering change? Are you thinking ahead or looking behind? If someone was asked to describe you in a couple words…what would those words be? Speak for the members you represent!
Q: What are nonprofit bylaws? A: Bylaws are your organization’s operating manual. They define: Size of the board and how it will function Roles and duties of directors and officers Rules and procedures for holding meetings, electing directors, and appointing officers How monies will be distributed Other essential corporate governance matters
What is the health of your association? Are there checks and balances? How are you going to sustain? Non Profit is a tax structure, not a business plan. How are you going to make sure you get more money in your pocket?
Most likely someone else has had a program, event, seminar, fund raiser or promotional idea that you are considering. Ask for copies of what they did. Collect from a wide area. Take what best works from you. Change the names and make it yours! Make yourself look good. Learn from others mistakes.
They didn’t hire you to sit behind the desk! You better be visiting your members. People are always watching you. Are your actions illustrating what your association is about? Be visible on a local, state and national level.
You can’t communicate too much! Get your message out in the community. Let all the media have a welcome door. Build that relationship. Every month you have an opportunity to tell your message in your newsletter. Are you listening? Are you up on the latest communication technologies. Who communicates for your association?
Your first step is being here today. What other conferences can you attend. Your chambers investment will pay huge dividends. When is a good time to go? Don’t let time keep you from building your career. What magazines are you subscribing too? What are you reading? Take a trip…You’d be surprised what you learn and how it can energize a group!
I cherish my network contacts! Nurture those contacts. These people can be your life line. Don’t ever burn a bridge. You never know what job a contact might have some day! Why is this helpful in the Chamber World?
You’re job is to know a little about a lot. Thus why the Networking is so important. We connect businesses and members to financing, marketing, surveys, transportation, communications, technology, customers, media, permits, zoning, councils, legal, bookkeeping, governmental issues on the local, state and federal level, lobbying, shipping, exporting, ethics, tourism, economic development, downtown development, urban development, regional development, and on …and on…and on
I always try to have a CPA and Lawyer on my boards at all time. Have a good mix that represents what your chamber and community are about. Who are the players in your community? Are they are the board? Who are the visionaries? You want someone that will run your board like they run their business. Do you really want someone on your board who’s idea of success is making $15,000 a year?
You are in a rare and wonderful position where you will have an opportunity to leave a legacy in your community. What will it be? Will what you create stand the test of time?
If you don’t love what you do and aren’t having fun at it, then get out now! This job is tough enough if you aren’t enjoying the journey. At the end of the day, if you are having fun in the chamber world and you are loving what you are doing in the community…I promise you that you won’t find a job that is more rewarding then the Chamber of Commerce.
If you have any questions or would like copies of the reports I discussed simply email me at: email@example.com