Monday, February 9, 2015

Values Advice for New Employees: Enthusiasm

Last week I starting sharing the advice I gave to my association's newest employee, who had recently passed her three-month anniversary with our organization. The advice was focused specifically on our core values, and I offered it to her three-months in (rather than on her first day) on the presumption that it might have more meaning and impact for someone who had spent some real time in our organization.

Last week, I talked about our core value of Leadership. This week, let me share what I told this person, new both to our organization and to the world of associations, about Enthusiasm--where each individual must be excited about growing as individuals and about growing the organization.

There are two things to focus on, I said. The first, and most important, is to develop an association professional mind and skill set.

People come to associations from all walks of life. Ask around, and you'll discover that almost everyone simply "fell into" this line of work. Very few intentionally set out to become an association professional, but for everyone who today considers themselves that, there was a moment in the midst of their careers when they either realized or decided that was, in fact, what they were and wanted to be.

A new employee is starting one kind of journey when they start working for a new organization. That naturally brings a certain level of excitement and enthusiasm to the situation. But one way to heighten that sense is to decide that the job you've just gotten is more than a job--it is the start of a career, and specifically, a career in association management. That's a journey of a completely different stripe, and becoming excited and enthusiastic about developing skills that will help grow that career--not just help you do your job--will pay dividends both to you and to the organization. After all, a domain specialist has only so many places to grow within one organization. An association generalist is a much more valuable commodity to our organization, and there will always be opportunities for growth available to those individuals.

The second thing to focus on is sharing and celebrating successes.

Many of the veterans in the office (myself sometimes included) get so wrapped up in getting the work done that we sometimes forget to take the needed step back and commemorate the important milestones associated with the growth of ourselves and the organization.

But you, as our newest employee, can bring a fresh perspective to this question. Your successes, and the ones you help the association achieve, must be celebrated. It will not only increase your own sense of accomplishment, it will visibly remind the rest of us that we should be doing the same thing. We have to stop focusing on just the trees. We need to step back from time to time and celebrate how much our forest has grown.

Stay tuned. Next week I'll share my advice for new employees to live our third core value--Integrity.

+ + +

This post was written by Eric Lanke, an association executive, blogger and author. For more information, visit, follow him on Twitter @ericlanke or contact him at

Image Source

No comments:

Post a Comment