Association professionals use an arsenal of tools to master demanding time commitments. Online calendars, productivity apps and other digital products help workers stay on time and on track.
Then there is the low-tech standby that quietly decorates most office walls: the bulletin board. It may be humble, but it does not disappoint. The bulletin board keeps needed information in plain view for instant-view access, immune to power outages and other electronic mishaps.
Some months ago, I reached out to members of the ISAE Experienced Professionals shared interest group (SIG) to ask, “What’s on your bulletin board?” I explained that, on my bulletin board, there were two inspirational quotes, “one sweet, one saucy.”
The sweet quote, from Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” The saucy message, lifted from a bumper sticker: “Get in. Sit down. Hold on. Shut up.”
What’s on your bulletin board? Experienced Professionals responded:
Alyssa A. Pfennig, CAE, RYT, Director of Membership at Partnership for Philanthropic Planning & Yoga Teacher: “I have a little note from my niece, a thank you card for a speaking engagement in Chicago, a membership/conference postcard and a brand standards/color guide.”
Josie (Relue) O'Donnell, Senior Sales Director at Visit Fort Wayne: “I love Jeremiah 29:11 and needed to hear it today, in fact. Here’s a saucy contribution to the discussion: ‘Let Go or Be Dragged.’”
Sherrill Rude, CAE, Vice President-Advocacy at Indiana CPA Society: “The privilege of a lifetime is knowing who you are.” —Joseph Campbell
Dave Stevens, Managing Partner, Stevens & Stevens LLC: “Not posted, but memorized when my now-late father passed this along years ago: ‘If you want to be a rich person, just want a little less than you have.’”
Nice mix! Responses vary from family appreciation to reality dosing to Zen-like acceptance. The common thread is wisdom – a trait that brings experienced professionals together through ISAE connections.
Initially I posed the bulletin board question after moving to a new office ‒ same job, same company, but new location. In the spirit of streamlining, I decided to forego my bulletin board in favor of online messaging and mobile devices.
It didn’t last. I found it cumbersome to sort through computer notes for basic information, compared to glancing at a bulletin board, plus I missed seeing photos, cards and other personal effects. Mostly, though, I missed reading inspirational quotes. I had long been in the habit of posting quotes – sometimes at whim, other times mindfully, but always selected to spark inspiration.
Inspiration is important for anyone but, in the association world, it is key. We who choose association work as a career are driven by more than the policies, strategies and plans we draft to serve our members. Association professionals are practitioners of a service industry, driven by inspiration.
As inspiration to me these days is a quote posted on the new bulletin board that now hangs in my office: “See the silver lining.” It reminds me of my late brother’s gift for seeing a silver lining behind every cloud. With practice, usually I can see the silver lining, too. For those times that I can’t, I have faith that it’s there … beyond my sight.
In this New Year of 2015, my wish for all ISAE members, whether experienced or new to the profession, is to enjoy our work, balance our busy lives and, most of the time, see the silver lining.