What skill did you learn in the last decade that you know you’ll need in the 2020s?
Wanda Johnson, CAE
CEO, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Silver Spring, Maryland
I can listen, then ask probing questions, and, finally, synthesize a discussion to provide clarity and direction. It’s important to truly understand the various positions on an issue. This can be learned by listening to what’s said and probing to understand why a position is being shared. It’s too easy to hear a snippet and react. It’s harder and more valuable to take the time to hear all of the positions and push for clarity.
Wendy-Jo Toyama, CAE
Executive Director, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I learned to meditate. When I was younger, I didn’t have the patience for sitting still. It was also an era when it was thought that working women could have it all. Now, I focus on achieving a better work-life balance. As the ability to consume information increases exponentially, finding time to reflect and create intention will be even more critical. We need to bring our best selves to our team.
Greg Melia, CAE
CEO, Customer Experience Professionals Association, Minneapolis
I am deliberately bringing the customer voice into everything we do, including experience design projects, data analytics, and an omnipresent focus on how it feels for someone to interact with our association. By mastering skills like design thinking, journey mapping, behavioral analytics, and customer and employee listening, you’ll be able to take your association leadership to the next level.
Heidi Weber, CAE
Executive Director, Alpha Omega International Dental Society, Rockville, Maryland
I run a small association, and it quickly became clear to me that networking was not only important, it was a crucial skill to develop. Networking connects me to colleagues and strategic partners with expertise to move my organization forward. I also try to be of service to others in a networking capacity where I feel I can bridge knowledge and needs.