Saturday, August 28, 2010

ASAE Young Professional Leadership Academy reflections (Part 2)

Being in the leadership academy gives you exposure at ASAE. At most meetings I attended, the ASAE young professional leadership academy was mentioned publicly, intriguing other young professionals and seasoned professionals who were enthusiastic that ASAE supported such a program, something, which I was often reminded of on a frequent basis, that wasn't available when the seasoned professionals were learning the ropes. Additional exposure included the opportunity to dive deep into a research project (future post) and present at the 2010 ASAE Annual Meeting. I did just that and can't wait to share these experiences.

How has my leadership style grown and changed since participating in this program? Here are a few of my takeaways from this program on leadership. A leader...
- maintains integrity and company values in times of success and times of trouble, times when in the spotlight and in private
- builds a great network of individuals and confidants to exchange ideas and build a sounding board
- recognizes the contributions of others and seeks creative opportunities through financial and non financial incentives to do so
- creates an environment where collaboration is second nature, not operating in a silo
- embodies the mission, vision, and values of the organization
- walks the walk and talks the talk

I can't wait to share my journey of leadership as I try to write more frequently on this blog. I hope that you'll share your lessons learned, stories, and life experiences.

Next week - a look at my group project research offering perspective and insights into the generation y's actions in the workplace.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ASAE Young Professional Leadership Academy Reflections (Part 1)

The time has come! I graduated from the ASAE Young Professional Leadership Academy. I want to thank ASAE, my association for their gracious support of financial resources and my time, and American Express for their generous support.

I started this journey with my eyes wide open, not knowing what to expect. As I shared in my final presentation on 8/24/2010 at the Annual Meeting, I was hoping I'd find other individuals like me. Individuals that had questions, knew they could accomplish the impossible, refused to stand for the phrase, "we've always done it that way", and felt that they were missing the connection to their organization's mission, vision, and values. While I don't have answers to all the questions I had coming into the program, I have tremendous insights as I graduate and start another chapter.

So what happened in the last two years? I had the opportunity to expand my role in my association and move into a senior management position managing three staff, and two additional committees. I hate to sound like a power player, but moving into this role has given me a voice and provided me the opportunity for direct contact with other department leaders in my association. While I still encounter red tape and the occasional runaround, I've been able to better communicate the needs, praises, and frustrations of members I work with on a frequent basis to the departments and be heard and taken seriously.

Enough about the mundane, what about the program? I want to answer some questions that I have received from my association's staff and others I've "met" virtually through social media.

Would you recommend this program to other young professionals?
Without a doubt, yes!

Would I do it all over again?
In short, yes.

What if I had to pay out of pocket?
It's tough to answer that honestly. Thinking in the mindset of September 2008 where I was in my career, my wife being laid off and finding another job, our desire to plan for a family, and college debt, I'd say no. That would be my honest and truthful answer before being exposed to the program. Fast forward to today and the answer would be yes, yes, yes!

What about the leadership academy puts a spring in your step?
The opportunities for exposure, networking, access, peer support, and the ability to be mentored by two professionals. I really learned a great deal from Cynthia D'Amour. Please check out her website and read her book, "The Lazy Leader". I've found it to be awe inspiring and engaging, just like Cynthia. And continually check her page to see when she'll be speaking in your city or close by.

More to come next week continuing lessons from the leadership academy, my take on being a leader, and some data sharing from our leadership academy research project.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Final day of ASAE Annual Meeting programming

Learning Made Portable (Monday, August 23)
I found this session to be quite engaging in terms of discussion and in terms of content. The speaker had a great amount of resources from her association and crowd sourced for additional examples. Below are a few summary thoughts.

Spend a lot of time exploring mobile. This is an untapped opportunity as traditional workspaces are changing. People are combining personal and professional into the same workspaces. Smartphones are engaging more individuals in more places outside of the office. Consider using smart phones for test preparation and make it game play. Make it ridiculously easy to do in a short amount of time.

Put ratings and reviews on your products. More and more of the online model is about sharing and obtaining customer feedback. This is especially true in my personal life. My wife and I are preparing for the birth of our first child and are pouring over customer reviews of baby products. What worked well, what didn't, what do users wish the product had, etc... How neat would this be for members in terms of Publications, products, services, and online self-study course offerings.

Measuring success- what are key goals of organization? Need to be measurable (increased subscribers or percentage, click throughs, etc) make sure it's tangible and in aligament of strategic plan.

What will you share with your association? I plan on asking my association if they are considering the development of any apps for our scientific journal. We could certainly take our journal to a mobile app with the ability to rate articles, comment in the virtual space, hyperlink to references in the article, access videos and clinical images, and embed our podcasts which are produced on a weekly basis. Think about the opportunity this provides. Do we need to go through red tape and approval processes for the letters to the editor? What could this do for mobile advertising? Could we work with companies to link to their sites, videos, and other content within the app? How about opportunities to tag the articles and link to other articles within that specialty? Could we offer a link right from the mobile device to a website to complete a form to obtain CME? Accept or reject articles when asked to peer review prior to publication?

These are a few of my thoughts and questions, more than answers. Please share how you are gluing mobile and some of your successes and challenges with the process.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

ASAE Day 1 of Learning

I have the awesome opportunity to attend the ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership Annual Meeting. This is the Mecca of association meetings that provides the opportunity for networking, learning, and everything associations. 
Today's general session keynote speaker was Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic. Coincidentally, I sat next to him on the plane from MSP to LAX last night and had a wonderful conversation. His talk focused on leadership, obviously, but said that everyone is a leader, not just the senior staff or the CEO. I will also provide you with a few bullet points of his talk
- the industrial way of work is DEAD. Command and control is DEAD, and if it isn't at your organization, it should be
- Put the org ahead of your interests 
- Choose the correct leaders for substance, quality and integrity
- Be true to your life story. 
- Values of the organization should be the same around the world. 

The only learning lab that I attended was a discussion of the results from an ASAE survey titled "The Decision to Learn". Here's a few tidbits to share
- respondents stated that access to professional education programs is important! 
- when responding on a 5-point Likert scale with 1 being low and 5 being high physician healthcare executives prefer to learn from Practicioners! (4.63 out of 5) 
- the biggest barrier to learning is travel and fees, including lack of support from employer. 
- millennials want to increase competence in job and are more likely to be motivated by a pay raise
- millenials perceived different barriers to learning including the inability of disposable income to pay their own way, don't have the time to devote to learning, and state that their employer doesn't recognize benefits of professional education (I wonder if that is because millenials want education outside of their core responsibilities)
- learners don't like tests or quizzes.

I hope that you found this useful. I will write another post tomorrow sharing my takeaways.