Being active in trade and professional groups is, in a word, rewarding. Not only does it build business opportunities, it’s also a forum for making friends and giving back to the organizations that support our businesses and to the communities in which we work. When we pool our resources and knowledge we have the power to grow and help others do the same.
Later this month at the ELFA Convention, I’ll be joining others in the pre-conference activity of “cleaning up San Diego.” Then, in December, we will be hosting a black tie fund-raising event, as we do each year, which will be sandwiched between the annual AP-FA Christmas Lunch and the Leasing Foundation Charity lunch on either day. Each event, of course, has a different nominated charity and colleagues move from each party which has a distinct flavor on each day.
In these community outreach or philanthropic activities, we draw closer to each other. We can put aside our own interests and truly bond through embracing a higher purpose.
I’ve also found that as my association involvement expands, my leadership skills are strengthened. Serving on various boards and committees has given me the opportunity to work with the heads of companies that I admire and to observe how others communicate and collaborate. These opportunities are powerful experiences that strengthen my own resolve to be the best leader I can be.
I also appreciate having the broader perspective that comes from looking at the industry as a whole and not just through the lens of my own company. The insights I’ve gained have helped me make important decisions and see more clearly what’s ahead for all of us.