Friday, June 29, 2007

Empty Seat Syndrome

Let's talk more about joining associations.

A couple days ago I had a conversation with a business person wanting to make connections in a specific market. I asked if she had joined the association of this industry segment. The answer was yes, but she had not yet become active.

My thought was, "Well, I guess you didn't put much thought into this membership."

In order to get anything from being a member, first you have to be active. Then you have to give to the group.

So if there was a plan, it might have looked sort of like this.

Goals of Joining (set before joining!)

  1. Join Association.
  2. Attend 10 out of 12 meetings annually.
  3. Note those meeting dates on my calendar.
  4. Meet with executive director to find out what role I can play.
  5. Assume the duties and responsibilities of that role.
  6. Make a list of members I want to meet one to one.
  7. Set a goal of how many member to meet with monthly.
  8. Invite prospective members to meetings as my guest.

Of course, your goals might be slightly different. But it doesn't matter. What does matter, is having a plan of action before you join so that you hit the ground running. You don't want to waste several months of membership time trying to decide what to do.

What goals do you have in place for the associations you belong to?

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