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Leadership at American Society of Association Executives


Understanding that an employee’s relationship with his/her manager is one of the main reasons why an employee might stay or leave an organization, our main focus here was to improve leadership and organizational effectiveness by educating our managers on leadership competencies. Our challenge was to help managers better understand the value of employees, better understand the importance of their role as supervisors, and empower them to coach, inspire and lead.


In response to a recent culture survey that the organization had undertaken, it was decided that ASAE would embark on a series of Leadership & Management Training seminars. Over an 11-month period, managers at all levels participated in “in-person” competency-based trainings with tasks that required teamwork that allowed for real-time feedback on both individual and group behaviors. Topics covered included Building and Motivating Teams, Communication, Delegation, Interviewing, Emotional Intelligence, Managing Performance, Pioneering Change, Problem Solving and Resolving Conflict. In March of 2020 when COVID-19 caused businesses across the country move to working
remotely, after much discussion, it was decided that we would convert to a virtual training program and continue with the monthly schedule.


Since the conclusion of the first series of training, managers seem to have taken to it well and have accepted the challenge. Survey results from participants show that managers are appreciative of the training program, and look forward to the next steps, which is to supplement the training with refresher courses, arranging post-training follow up sessions, and creating opportunities for practice.


We are in midst of global pandemic defined by biological disease and racial injustice. The importance of attacking racial injustice and the legacy of disparity it creates must be addressed by organizations, the individuals they are comprised of, and the stakeholders and members they represent and support. As demonstrated through multiple actions, ASAE will not stand still, nor silent. We are honored to become a member of the CEO Action group to assist in marshaling resources for change.

Susan Robertson
CEO, American Society of Association Executives
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