Years ago, as I was working through my MBA program, in each class I took I found one great takeaway or tool to put away. If you visited my office today you would see a binder on my shelf labeled “MBA Toolbox.” In my not-for-profit association world, I use and add to it regularly. I really need to get around to relabeling it as my “Leadership Toolbox.” Here are some of my favorite tools I have gathered over the years.
- The Nonprofit Center: Promoting the Association Management Profession, Bob Harris, CAE
Many of you have heard Bob’s sessions and visited his website. Bob’s site is where I go to get back to the basics. I love that he has tons of downloadable information under “Management Tips & Templates” that he offers at no charge.
- Institute for the Future is the place I go to dream and to try to get a glimpse of what might be right around the corner. The group has a lot of topical information on technology, government, health, people, culture, etc. I have been checking out their annual “Ten-Year Forecasts” since early 2000. It is hard to find a consistent resource on the future that bridges the reality of today with the dreams of tomorrow, and Institute for the Future really accomplishes that.
- The Perfect Board is a book written by Calvin Clemons, CAE. It is a quick, easily digestible book written from the perspective of a new board member. I use this board primer for short reminders and lessons to train up the best board members and leaders. The 2–4 page chapters fit easily in a board meeting agenda.
- Whether you visit TED Talks regularly or a first time visitor, there is encouragement, insight and inspiration in the thousands of 15-minute presentations. Topic search your problem today.
- Membership with ISAE may seem cliché, but there are very few problems I face today that my colleagues haven’t faced. Have you ever tried to fix something with the wrong tool? This community of association professionals still provides the best tools for the challenges we face.