Associations need creative types to rise into key leadership roles — especially given the role publishing plays in many of them. However, for many, the climb to the c-suite is daunting. Fortunately, the myth of right- or left-brain dominance and its supposed limitations is not going to hold creatives back. With deliberate action and motivation, the c-suite can be reached.
During AM&P’s May webinar — “Starting the Climb From the Creative Side to the C-Suite” — Tatia L. Gordon-Troy, founder of Ramses House Publishing LLC, offered some advice based on her own climb.
Gordon-Troy says common misconceptions about advancement can hold people back without them knowing it. One big one is expecting to be promoted soon after being hired or treating the job you were hired for as a placeholder until you get moved up. “You have to prove yourself. I busted my butt to get where I am,” she says. “None of it was luck. None of it was being in the right place. It was very specific, very strategic, hard work.”
For emerging professionals or those early in their climb, Gordon-Troy recommends:
- Stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like a thought leader. Know budget planning, sales, and accounting to understand how it all comes together.
- See the big picture. Know the association hierarchy and how each level affects the others.
- Engage during staff meetings, offer suggestions, speak eloquently, offer opinions without being brash or overbearing.
- Take on more responsibility within your department. Ask your director to delegate tasks to you.
- Volunteer often for events. You show teamwork and interest in what other departments are doing. You get to know the movers and shakers within the association membership.
- Attend board of governors meetings.
At any level, she says it’s good to occasionally take time to take stock of yourself. Do you have what it takes to be successful in an association setting? Such as:
- Strong Communication Skills. Are you comfortable with public speaking?
- Relationship Building: Are you comfortable with networking?
- High Capacity For Teamwork: Are you willing to build bridges between departments?
- Advocacy: Are you comfortable sharing your opinion even in the face of conflict?
- Creativity and Persuasiveness: Can you present a well-thought-out argument for or against a change?
- Alliance Building: Are you comfortable with befriending other directors, members of your executive committee, members of your board of governors?
Gordon-Troy says two main things will hinder a creative person’s climb to the c-suite: mediocre job performance — though that’s true of anyone — and being an introvert. “I’m an introvert. Introverts make the best editors and creatives, but it’s not really conducive to that leadership role. You have to find your inner extrovert and learn how to let it out when you need it,” she says. “That doesn’t mean you have to go around being a social butterfly. You need to be able to stand out, draw and hold attention, and be comfortable speaking in public.”
Check Out Upcoming AM&P Webinars
Blockchain and Digital Currency: What Is It and How Will It Impact Information Providers?
Aug. 23, 2018
If you’ve been skimming technology news over the past year, you may have noticed the word blockchain touted as paving the way to the future. But what exactly is it? How will it change the way we communicate, store data, and process transactions in the years to come? This talk de-mystifies the terminology and explains the benefits of blockchain for information providers.
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