Complete Story


How Leaders Can Learn to Advocate for Themselves and Help Staff Do the Same

Without advocating for yourself, you'll continue to be undervalued

At 27 years old, I became executive director of a national trade association. I was a female leader serving an almost exclusively male industry with a 17-member, all-male board of directors. As a young woman with limited experience in a room full of older men used to sharing their opinions and running their own companies, I was intimidated.

Still, like many new leaders, I came in with a vision of the organization and culture I wanted to create. The association and its programming were in great shape, having bounced back well from the Great Recession, and we were building out our team to take on new programs.

My priority was valuing the team and recruiting qualified staff. It was critical to offer competitive compensation packages. I spent time talking to my board about the “we,” connecting our goals to the talent we needed to attract and asking for what the team deserved. To its credit, the board started taking steps to course-correct quickly.

Please select this link to read the complete article from ASAE’s Center for Association Leadership.

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