CEO to CEO: New Leadership Strategies
What new leadership strategy worked for you in 2020 that you plan to use this year—and beyond?
Chris Busky, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Arlington, Virginia
A new leadership skill I employed more in 2020 than ever before is empathy—empathy not only for my staff, but also for our members who are on the front lines treating COVID patients. I’ve been much more deliberate about staying connected to others, listening intently to their needs, and practicing kindness.
Tammy Dillard-Steels, CAE
Executive Director, Young Adult Library Services Association, Chicago
We used multiple new strategies in 2020, such as revenue-based budgeting, modeling a hybrid approach to education by utilizing virtual platforms and localized in-person meetings, and virtual retreats.
President and CEO, National Propane Gas Association, Washington, DC
Doubling down on compassion. While a leader should always respect all team members, understanding that everyone is dealing with the pandemic in a unique way—and taking action to reflect that—pays dividends in loyalty to the association and work product. For example, providing flexibility on timelines, vacation use, and midday breaks to handle atypical school and dependent needs reflects that I care as much about my staff as I want them to care about our association.
Nancy Donahue Jones, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, Hawai’i Realtors, Honolulu
Our organization changed our governance structure. Our goal was to make the organization flexible, nimble, and proactive. Our first year was 2020. We reduced the board to half its size, implemented term limits throughout the organization, and eliminated both the executive and finance committees. The leadership team meets with me as my advisory team at least twice a month for no more than an hour. Everything is virtual.