How Your Chapter’s Board Can Win Big with Lessons from Corporate CEOs

Running a chapter of an association is in many ways like how CEOs manage a company, just on a smaller scale. There are decisions to make. Plans to execute. Training to offer. And members to guide. It makes sense, then, to examine the top CEO behaviors that your chapter board should emulate.

A study measuring successful CEO traits called the CEO Genome project, in which they discovered that there are 4 essential behaviors that are associated with becoming a high performing CEO.

We wanted to apply these four key behaviors to chapter management to provide insight on how their findings can be applied to your board:

  1.        “Deciding with Speed and Conviction.” As chapter leaders, the board needs to make decisions quickly, backed with confidence. This doesn’t mean you act rashly. Find the balance between collecting information and acting swiftly. You want to inspire faith in your membership through action rather than just talking about action. So, for example when you say you will create a new board position, decide to do it and then follow through.
  2.        “Engaging for Impact.” Understand stakeholders (members, community, industry) and relate to their goals and the goals of the chapter. Get them on the same page as the board for successful outcomes. How you go about accomplish this will vary greatly on the industry, but communication is essential. Talk to members, survey them even. Really know who they are and what they want from the chapter. Then, deliver it. The impact will provide great value to everyone.
  3.        “Adapting proactively.”  Society changes. Circumstances change. Leadership even changes. And you need to adapt with the never-ending fluctuations. There isn’t a manual for how life plays out, even if there is one for how your chapter is supposed to play out. And it is important to recognize that errors are not the end of the world. Yes, they may cause a hurdle and some problems in the short-term, but in the long-run, they are a learning tool to guide and shape your chapter and its members.
  4.        “Delivering reliably.” Offering stability in both offerings and results is key. You want your prospects to see that as leaders of the chapter you know what you are doing. You can manage the team, plan and execute events, and increase attendance and revenues. When you set goals and meet them consistently, you inspire confidence to members and non-members alike. This drives success, especially when you have a solid team that collaboratively works together.

To better understand yourself as a leader the CEO Genome Project has made it easy for you to measure your leadership abilities on these 4 behaviors. You can visit their website and take quiz that measures you. In addition, you can have a colleague take the quiz answering questions about you. This great comparison shows both how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you regarding these behaviors.

As part of your chapter’s planning process, knowing the best way to do your job of running the chapter includes knowing you and your team’s own strengths and weaknesses. Adjustments take time, but when success is on the line, taking that time is the best decision to make.

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