Show Them You Care – Leadership through Involvement in Associations

Joel G. Carson, Executive Director

Leadership is a hot topic of late, with hundreds of writers providing do’s and don’ts for making it to the top. GBA looked into this issue decades ago, and leaders at the time came up with one, fundamental axiom for leadership development:

Get involved in associations and societies. “Getting involved” didn’t mean joining: It meant joining a committee and working for its success.Then moving on, up to the board level, then to the top spot. In fact, just about all the leaders in GBA said that’s how they did it.Today’s GBA offers just such opportunities to the rising stars of Member Firms.

As stated by GBA Executive Director Joel Carson,

“We cannot be more thankful for the support given to us by our Member Firms. In truth, however, the best thanks is GBA’s ability to help members maximize their ROI on dues by getting the rising stars involved. It’s the kind of recognition that so many staff members crave; it shows they are well-regarded and appreciated. It can also give them a great opportunity for leadership. And that applies to more than GBA, of course. It applies as well to discipline-focused organizations, client-related associations, and community-based groups.”

GBA Best Practices: Strategic Association Involvement


GBA has material to help. Check out our excellent GBA Best Practices on “Strategic Association Involvement.” Among other things, it points out the five steps necessary to maximize involvement’s ROI:

  • Step One: Realize you need to Improve
  • Step Two: Understand Strategic Association Involvement (SAI)
  • Step Three: Adopt the Fundamental Rule of Strategic Association Involvement
  • Step Four: Appoint a Leader
  • Step Five: Identify Support-Worthy Associations