Sunday, November 1, 2015

3 Sports Cliches for Association Management

Ok, I admit it: I like sports and I recognize the lessons from sports can positively guide association executives.

Three cliches can guide association professionals:

1.  You rarely win when you are trying not to lose.
  • Some teams get a lead and then change how they play as a strategy not to lose. It rarely works. It sometimes leads teams to keep doing the same thing ... even though the other team has made adjustments.
  • Lesson for Association executives: Keep improving. Monitor what is happening and be willing to change if that is what it takes to win.
2.  You get injured more often when you’re playing not to get hurt.
  • Some players – especially once seriously injured – play trying not to get hurt. It changes how they play and often leads to another injury.
  • Lesson for Association executives: Don’t be defensive. If you get hurt (the board doesn’t approve an initiative), heal and return with positive attitude and direction.
3.  Change on the fly.  Adjust and adapt to the opponent.
  • Changing on the fly comes from ice hockey. Players come off the ice as their replacements jump off the bench and into play. This often happens when coaches try to “match” players with players from the opponents.
  • Lesson for Association executives: Be flexible. Pay attention to what is happening within associations, within your organization’s profession or industry, within society at large. Be willing to modify your strategies and tactics to take advantage of change.
What do you think?

What sports examples help guide you?

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