Monday, May 11, 2015

The Association CEO is a Storyteller

What does your association need from its Board of Directors?

It needs leadership. It needs engagement. It needs what I'll call mindshare. A highly productive Board is comprised of people
who are thinking about the issues facing that association more frequently than just the time they spend around the Board table.

And this is increasingly difficult to get. The professional demands everyone is facing are so all-consuming that Board members rarely find spaces for clear and undivided focus on yet another task.

But you have to do something to address this. If you need your Board to have a series of connected conversations that lead to coherent strategy and execution, you won't get it if all they do is show up and speak off the top of their heads.

So you, as the CEO, you have to be their storyteller. Before they start talking, you have to tell them what happened at the last meeting, what decisions they made, what actions you have been taken since then, and how their decisions and your actions are combining to form a narrative that is compelling to them and to your members.

You have to do this, because they won't do it for you. They don't have time.

Do you?

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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

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