Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Married to an Association Executive

In addition to being an association executive, I'm also married to one. We were introduced at a Board of Directors meeting at a national association convention; and today is our 20th wedding anniversary. These thoughts about marriage of association executives ... may also apply to you ...

1. Don't do each other's jobs. Easy to fall into a trap of deciding to "help" run your spouse's association too - when they don't want or need a co-CEO.
2. Our professional mentors are not each other.
3. If you have kids, seriously consider not attending many spouse functions until later years. You both likely have too many functions with your own job. (Except functions in Palm Springs. Go to those.)
4. When you attend as spouse, forget you're an association executive. Even if you're dying to fix the AV or get their registration line to move faster.
5. Agree to be aggressive about saving money "just in case". Nature of association management is you stay until it's time to go - be ready financially.
6. Confidential info related to your position should never be shared - including with your spouse. Associations can have conflicting agendas.
7. Being with people all the time is part of the job, and part of your life -- helps to do things by yourself (alone) too -- (e.g., my husband has golf trip alone, I'm going to Amsterdam alone -- neither interested in other's choice -- don't need to include friends)
8. There's natural idea sharing and stealing between association execs. Even at home.

And if/when you have kids ... as soon as they walk it's not too early to teach to collate and help with lit drops for candidates. Skill-building 101.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy 20th!