Time Is Flying ByWritten By: Les L. Bebchick
Article Date: 07-02-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
"The Year of the Member" is gaining momentum.
Is 2007 going by as fast for you as it is for me? It seems like only yesterday that I was at the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas at my inauguration as AED Chairman, and now the year and my term are more than half over and I am planning next year's budget, the Fall Executive Board Meeting, and the 2008 Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Our theme, "The Year of the Member" has taken on some momentum, and it is resonating not only with the AED staff in Oak Brook, but also with the Board, the officers, and the dozens of members I have been speaking and meeting with each month.
AED is taking on a greater identity and gaining a stronger awareness and recognition within our membership companies, and I'm excited and impressed by the new members who have stepped forward and accepted responsibilities on committees and expressed themselves on a whole host of issues.
Our industry is a great one, and we gain strength from each other by sharing experiences, by networking with our fellow dealers and manufacturers, and by putting a face and energy to our industry. The collective talents within our industry and our association are impressive, and the more you are involved with both, the faster you'll discover that.
So what is AED doing to keep the momentum moving? One significant area is the effort to develop our future leaders. AED has always had a very strong and impressive nucleus of industry icons to lead our industry. They are the first and second generation owners of substantial dealerships from all over the country. However, we have to have the vision to recognize that the coming leadership in our businesses and the association is going to be different from those of the past. By different I mean that they'll be more educated, both in technology and business; more computer savvy; more global in their thinking; and just different.
Many of these individuals have not been exposed to AED in any substantive way, but it's in AED's best interest to dig deep and find these young potential leaders within the membership and expose them to everything AED has to offer. The motive is not simply to help these individuals find the value in membership, but also to develop this future leadership for the companies in which they work. This industry-focused offering of education, networking, idea sharing, and camaraderie, geared to develop this talent, is not available anywhere else.
Who will take over our businesses and keep them strong and growing? It's pretty obvious (and preferred) that our successors should be excited, highly motivated and well-trained Future Leaders. Succession planning better begin in almost every company, large or small, because the years fly by and the decades follow. Don't be caught short by an incident or event and wish you had thought about it earlier. Aug. 15-17 AED will be holding our 2½ day Future Leaders Conference in Chicago. Plan now to have your up-and-comers participate.
This August, during our Summer Board Meeting - after dealing with the matters of the association in general session - we will spend time learning and enhancing personal and professional development among board members and officers. We will focus on strengthening the role of AED board members, identifying ways to optimize board involvement, leadership development, and a development plan for new leaders.
I believe member involvement in AED governance is something all members and leaders should strive for. Members who think that volunteering or agreeing to serve in governance or on a committee is a chore are fooling themselves. AED gives you the ability to expand your horizons and gain recognition from the industry in which you serve.
If that's not enough to impress you with our membership initiatives, you'll be happy to learn that this year's AED/QUALCOMM Executive Forum, Sept. 13-14, will focus on "The Dealer Scorecard: New Metrics for New Times." This is an exciting topic for everyone because "what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets done." We are expecting the largest crowd ever, so please respond as soon as the registration information arrives.
And don't forget, call me at 508-509-8412 (cell) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, suggestions and input. This is "The Year of the Member."
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