Leader vs. Manager in Chamber Management

The official definition according to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:

  • Leader - something that leads
  • Manager - one that manages

I like to think of it as vision vs. tactics!

We need both leaders and managers to be successful organizations and our chambers are structured that way.

Do you have both?

This post isn’t about becoming one or the other. It’s about recognizing the difference and playing to the strengths of each.

Allow me to draw an analogy we are familiar with – The Strategic Plan.

Pull out your strategic plan. I bet it starts with your mission statement and a vision for what you want to be. But under that you have a objectives and tactics laid out in a bullet format to achieve that vision.

The leaders create the vision (your board), the managers execute the strategy and tactics (chamber staff).

In my 20+ years in the association management field, it’s critical to understand the difference for your chamber to be successful.

Once board and staff understands their role, the opportunities are endless!

Developing a Competitive Workforce

In my last post HERE, I talked about how a strong workforce is a key to a community and the chambers economic development initiatives.

Let’s dig a little deeper into your community’s workforce.

Is your chamber working with the local school system helping to identify the needs of your community’s workforce?

A strong public school system and a post-secondary option is key.

Also, don’t forget the vocations.  Yes, we need doctors, engineers, etc., but we also need electricians, plumbers and carpenters.

Businesses can’t thrive unless they have the employees.

How many books have we all read on leadership, management and to quote Jim Collins, “getting the right people on the bus,” from his breakout book Good to Great?

That’s just another way of saying you need all types of workers to develop a competitive workforce for your community.

Click HERE for resources on building a competitive workforce!