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OMG.... What's NEXT?!

Hello my fellow association execs. So many are emotionally all over the place in this moment as

leaders. I know many of you are super challenged in this moment. I want to encourage you to take a day for yourself and do whatever fills your soul and refuels your passion. We all need to refocus on what's right in front of us while beginning to help your staff and members begin to discuss "What's Next?" when COVID-19 ends. Because it will at some point.

Don't get caught up on trying to figure out what the "new normal" will be because there won't be a new transformation of normality. Will people use more sanitizer and not shake hands? Maybe... But the norms we had in our members prior to COVID-19 will return. People's desire to eat, shop, go out, travel and be entertained will come back and fast. If 9/11 and the financial crash of 2009 taught us anything, it's that our desire to live life never leave us.

Your members need you as a leader more than ever. I feel, just like heavy lifting in the gym takes your body to the next level, these times as a leader are taking us to the next level in every way. This is when we have to dig down deep into our abilities, be the energetic cheerleader for our fellow staff, bring hope to our board and have a never say die attitude to battle what is right in front of us. This is when we find out who we are. Is it easy to do? No. But the passion to help our members rise above it all should drive us to step up and into the challenge. I want to encourage all my fellow association executives to weather the challenge. This will pass and you will be on the other side saying... "I need a vacation." :). In all seriousness, you will truly be smiling knowing you pushed through it all and made it to the other side with your members and staff.

So in this moment, focus on what is important: Doing your value for your members with all your heart and strength to help them make it to the other side of COVID-19 by doing the following:

- Communicate with them often with meaningful content

- Keep them updated in real time on needed resources

- Provide an easy to view central space online to view resources

- Provide online meeting/networking opportunities (people are lonely)

- Help members to hear what other members are thinking and doing ( does this)

- Meet with your Executive Committee weekly to keep your leadership engaged

- Make the right choice on virtual meetings because live meetings will come back

These are just a few of the key actions you should be taking to be all hands on deck to help your members weather the storm. There is no magic to this moment. It calls for working smart, listening to your member's needs and moving on those needs. Each day, wake-up and work with your staff to keep pushing out resources and information to help your members navigate the elements they need to get to the other side of this crisis. YOUR CAN'T CONTROL THE WIND AND THE WAVES. BUT YOU CAN CONTROL THE RUDDER AND THE DIRECTION OF YOUR SAILS. Keep the fire. Fuel your passion. Lead with clarity and confidence. Be safe!

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