management should be interacting with
members and not making sure the badges
were produced on time.
We all possess a natural tendency
to choose the easy path when it comes
to being accessible. This will inevitably
handicap the long-term growth of an
association, and these consequences
of the easy path are something we’d
rather ignore. It’s a future negative consequence that we are too willing to discount in the face of short-term, positive
Hardin was correct: You can’t do
one thing. If the solution used is to
employ the very best technology available so the office can contact us no
matter where we are, no matter what
we’re doing to solve a problem, that
solution inevitably creates a new problem to replace the old. A better solution? Assuming we can’t reduce the
number of problems that arise in our
organizations, we can choose to
increase the problem-solving ability of
those reporting to us and empower others to speak for us with authority and
commitment. Is the best use of our
time making sure that the speaker has
a lavalilier microphone, or is it ensuring
he/she is aware of a last minute bit of
association news to incorporate into
the keynote address?
We also should learn to carve a line
in our day — “this” time is for work,
“this” time is for living. In reality, when
it comes to work/life balance problems,
we have difficulty drawing that line and
honoring it. That’s a personal problem
and no technology or article will solve
it for us. Does this echo with any part
of your life? “Sorry son, I wanted to
Join the National Healthcare Career Network today! spend time with you, I do love you, but
the association is more important than
By being less accessible, we’re not
only giving ourselves a break from the
office — we’re training our staff (and
clients) to be self-reliant and future
managers. That’s a long-term view. In
the short-term, it’s far easier to just buy
NTERNATIONAL SOCIETY PHARMACOEPIDEMIOLOGY • SOCIETY FOR RADIATION ONCOLOGY ADMINIS a BlackBerry … and then wonder why
RATORS • SOCIETY FOR MUCOSAL IMMUNOLOGY • AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CLINICAL CHEMISTRY they never stop messaging us.
MERICAN MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION • FLORIDA ASSOCIATION DIRECTORS OF NUR
NG ADMINISTRATION • F LORIDA MEDICAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION • FLORIDA HEALTH CARE SOCIA
WORKERS ASSOCIATION • INFUSION NURSES SOCIETY • AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR HEALTHCARE HUMAN RE
OURCES ADMINISTRATION • AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION • ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNIT Peter de Jager is a keynote speaker, writer and con-
EALTH IMPROVEMENT • URGENT CARE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA • FLORIDA ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY
MERICAN SOCIETY OF CONSULTANT PHARMACISTS • MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF AMBULANCE SERVICE sultant on organizational change management who
MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS • MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURER doesn’t own a BlackBerry or a cell phone. He may
SSOCIATION • AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS • AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DIABETES EDUCATOR be reached at email@example.com.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DENTAL OFFICE MANAGERS • NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION • AMER
on human frailty. It is far easier to be
accessible 24/7 than to train our staff to
think on their own. It is far easier to be
accessible than to practice the difficult
art of delegation. It is far easier to be
accessible than to trust our staff.
How do we train people to think on their
own? We let them think on their own.
How do we reduce the need to be accessible 24/7? By not being available 24/7
and letting them work on their own.
There isn’t any magic involved here,
there’s no arcane knowledge available to
only a few.
This is what Churchill did. He created a mature, competent, efficient
organization that worked to serve his
needs, instead of shackling himself to
their needs. It did not depend on him for
day-to-day, or even week-to-week direction. He was left to work on the really
difficult tasks, winning the hearts of the
people, making the big decisions and
winning the war. Likewise, association
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