Myth 1: I have been on the board of directors for four years, now it is “my turn” to be chairman of the board!
- Reality: Leadership is earned, not awarded. Leaders are brought to a higher level by those they volunteer with. The board, as a unified team decides who can best represent the organization (not themselves, or their business) for the next 12 months. Getting the gavel in your hand at the Installation of Officers event does not include a crown or tiara.
- Reality: Joining your chamber is like joining a health club. You must participate to benefit.
- Reality: Chamber/association membership is a privilege, not an obligation. This is a great opportunity to inform this new business person on the value and strength of the organization and membership. Ribbon cutting ceremonies are offered to chamber members, this is just one of countless benefits the chamber offers its members. Like the Auto Club, they only insure their members, we only promote our members.
- Reality: This membership was not sold for the right reason a year ago. Renewal starts the day they join. Inform, involve, and ignite each member every chance you get.
- Reality: This is all about edifying the community on the distinct role of the chamber of commerce within a municipal government. This comment also opens up the conversation of who you are, your goals, your mission, and your organizations value to the community and its business success.
- Reality: I have found that every board of directors has an “arsonist”. If you have not had one in the past, or do not have one this year, chances are you will at some point have one board member who finds it more of a success to tear down instead of helping build the organization.
- Reality: Chamber and association CEO’s are among the top leaders of each community. We know this, but it is a well kept secret. Like large corporations, each require professional leadership, risk taking, and earned success. I always loved this question, and it usually ended up with a visit to their business, followed with a visit to the chamber office to see what we do first hand.
- Reality: I am thrilled with your success, and I agree, you do not need us. The truth is, we need you more than you need us. Successful businesses and companies built this organization. Your continued membership will continue the tools other members need to succeed and reach the point of success you now enjoy. You are part of this community’s growth responsibility. I hope you understand why we, the community, need you more now than ever. Chamber membership can and should be a lifetime privilege.
- Reality: Nonprofits are businesses with overhead, employee payroll, taxes to pay, insurance, office supplies, marketing and advertising expenses like every other business. Our nonprofit status is a tool that brings our services and products to build your business success, one business at a time.
- Reality: There are several ways to say thank you to staff members. Pizza lunch, car wash certificate, hire a (chamber member) massage therapist to come into the office for staff chair massages, close the office an hour early on a Friday. Chamber and association staff are the fuel of the organizational engine. We understand that, and need to pay attention to this more than anyone. Volunteers are also appreciated all year long, not just during their specific hours invested for the organization’s growth. Find a way to say thanks to staff and volunteers. They deserve it, and your acknowledgement to them is priceless.
Walt Page, IOM says
Ten very valid and meaningful points! Thank you for posting this David!