05.13.20 | Associations

Next Generation Associations: Fostering Emerging Leaders

Young professionals meet

As an event and association executive, I’ve come to realize I can’t do it all. In recent years I find myself learning the most from emerging leaders and I now depend on them to ensure our clients’ success.  

In my opinion, the generational descriptor “millennials” has come to encompass some unjust stereotypes, and, quite honestly, distracting depictions of what I experience as an enlightened, educated, and tech-savvy group of individuals.  By stepping back and giving them the space to grow, learn and lead, working with this generation has enhanced my own leadership qualities in ways I never thought possible. 

Associations are facing an aging demographic. I see how this is impacting membership, the makeup of boards of directors, and the hole it’s leaving as senior leaders retire and or move on to new careers.  Without the proper attention paid to building a new member base and a focus on leadership development, many associations and users groups could become a thing of the past – right at a time when the value of professional associations is needed more than ever.  However, by focusing on the huge generation of younger workers, associations can build, mentor, and create a relevant and progressive organization that’s poised to meet the needs of members today and into the future. 

In our latest whitepaper, 5 Steps to a Successful Emerging Leaders Program, I outline how to create and cultivate a successful program for up-and-coming leaders: from how to cull leads to start your first committee, to how to build education, mentoring programs and even committee structures and charters.   

For me, the idea of leaving my association in the hands of a well-trained and educated team of professionals is paramount.  Training and mentoring our future generation of leaders is our job, and our experience will be invaluable as they learn how to maintain the multi-level and complex structure of today’s associations and users groups.

During this time of change, take the opportunity to advance and transform your organization into a formidable association that’s ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead – and if we can help, contact us.  There’s no time like the present, and the future is indeed now.

Download my white paper here.

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