Learning to Lead

Editor’s Note: Learning to Lead

A quick reminder that leaders are made, not born.

Have you ever known a natural-born leader? History is full of stories of people who emerged from obscurity at just the right moment to save the world, or at least a piece of it. They took the reins, commanded attention, called for action, and others followed.

That’s the school textbook version, and by the time we’ve spent a little time in the real world, we understand that leadership is more complicated. It’s rarely present in our DNA. For most people, leadership is a skill that’s cultivated, and smart organizations take deliberate steps to develop it in people who show potential to lead in the future.

As Scott Brunner, CAE, executive vice president of the Georgia Pharmacy Association, tells Katie Bascuas in this issue, both the individual and the organization stand to gain. In creating its volunteer leadership development program, GPHA was “trying to get a better caliber of leader—a leader who at least felt better prepared and more knowledgeable in leadership tasks before them when they came into the role,” he says. Bascuas’ story details how GPHA and other associations tackled that challenge.

Working on this annual special issue always reminds me of the real-life leaders I’ve known. The ones I’ve admired most embraced the hard work leadership requires. They logged long hours, volunteered for unpopular tasks, and let their work speak for itself rather than seek out the spotlight. Many other qualities, too, define successful leaders, but for me, these have provided a personal and professional compass that always seems to point in the right direction.

As association board leaders, you’ve made a big commitment to your organization and its members. We hope this issue helps you carry out your responsibilities and continue your leadership learning.


Julie Shoop

By Julie Shoop

Julie Shoop is the Editor-in-Chief of Associations Now. MORE

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