Thursday, March 20, 2008

So you think it's easy being CEO?

Here's a decades old "what it takes" job description of an association chief executive officer position ... slightly modernized by an AE who found it posted on the wall of his new position. No idea who the orginal author is or was. This is actually only a portion of the document ...

The Association Executive

"The AE must be a person of wisdom, vision, innovation and ambition, an after dinner speaker and a night owl, but able to travel all day and make reports out at night and never fail to appear fresh and happy the next day.

The AE must be a 'man’s man' (even if the AE is a woman), a model person, a Plutocrat, a Democrat, a Republican, a New-Dealer, an Old-Dealer, and a Fast Dealer, an information technology specialist, a politician, a mathematician, an economist, an airplane and auto mechanic and an authority of construction ware, codes, laws and marketing techniques along with being an Internet guru.

The AE must be competent as a steno and typist, able to write 150 words a minute or type 300 words per minute while making sure the audio/visual equipment is working, leading all discussions and keeping interest and order without rolling their eyes or in some other way disclosing how they really feel about the discussion.

The AE must be able to give their staff the attention they want and the best advice on work, children’s diseases, home financing and in-law problems and be prepared to make allowances for emergencies but never look too serious or hurt when asking them why they were late, went over budget, or why their basic assignment for which they were hired wasn’t done correctly the first time or even the last time. And all of this must be done in accordance with all applicable employment laws, good taste, discretion, and an understanding they won’t appreciate any of it during a performance review.

The AE must attend all meetings, conventions, funerals, baptisms, weddings, visit hospitals and jails, contact and soothe the feelings of all members, prospective members and former members in the AE’s territory and take time out for good-will work on their own personal time with the local and national chapters along with peer chapters around the nation and region.

The AE must keep the building clean, know the Governor, and own a vehicle that is neither larger than any member’s nor smaller. Must be able to compute mileage, drift, ground speed, gas consumption per block per minute, wear and tear on tires and depreciation on the paint job. The AE’s vehicle must be new enough to create respect in all who see it but old enough to avoid charges of “putting on the dog” or having a member ask why the AE is paid too much.

The AE must know about labor law, intellectual property law, tax law and criminal law, but never venture an opinion if a lawyer is around. The AE must know the law of supply and demand and how to make an expense account and voucher stick the first time it is submitted especially if it is from a member of association leadership and counter to association policy.

The AE must have unlimited endurance and be adept at frequent over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages, unhealthy banquet food, wind, and gab. The AE must be an expert talker, liar, dancer, traveler, Bridge, golf, and poker player, authority on palmistry, upcoming elections, physiology, psychology, hydraulics, hunting, pop culture, sports scores and standing, and world politics.

The AE must be plain enough to be trusted by the spouses of members but still attractive enough to be interesting to those same spouses ... in spite of all this ... be the picture of the person on the go!"

And by the way, what do you mean you don't have time to blog?

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