Leading The Way
Dear Members and AOM Colleagues:
The topic of leadership has been and will be continuously debated at great length. Many of us have attended leadership conferences, listened to tapes or CDs on the topic, or have learned through years of experience the key areas of focus that are necessary to become a great leader.
To lead an organization, one key point of leadership is a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and purpose. This understanding shows commitment to that organization and passion about its direction. Dedication to ongoing learning about the profession we lead is at the core of investing in ourselves and others. Staying current about trends and insisting on creating a work/life balance for oneself are also key components.
Leadership also requires a commitment to communication among the ranks of any organization. Absence of transparency is one of the quickest ways for an organization to develop morale problems. Recognizing this, I’m committed to—indeed, passionate about—maintaining a strong link to AAAOM’s membership through ongoing communications. An important first step in this direction is the expansion of our monthly newsletter to include brief overviews of articles pertaining to acupuncture. Each synopsis offers the reader a link to the full article. It is our intent to expand this feature over time, thereby providing our membership an easy way to keep abreast of key developments within their science.
Building strong relationships is also critical to the success of a nonprofit organization. As AAAOM’s executive director (ED), I see this as one of my primary roles. Over the last three months I have worked to connect with key opinion leaders in the field, including corporate partners that are aligned with AAAOM’s mission. Additionally, I continue to reach out to our state associations to explore ways we can grow the profession together. Looking for win/win opportunities and proactively collaborating, as well as focusing on providing excellent member services, are all key elements to build and strengthen AAAOM.
Sharing leadership responsibilities is of primary importance to any outstanding leader. This attribute requires recognizing the talents and abilities of others and appropriately delegating authority to them. This allows the building of a strong board and a balance of power as well as the ability to take a secondary role when collaborating with other organizations. A vital component of my role as AAAOM ED is to indeed help grow a stronger, broader-based board, which spans a variety of services such as initiating leadership development, educating our constituents and the public at large about the attributes of acupuncture, and providing media training for our Board.
And, finally, to be a good leader, it is essential to ensure effective delivery, measurable outcomes, the creation of diverse, sustainable sources of funding, and the holding of everyone (including myself) accountable for fulfilling commitments. Those of you who took part on our June 26th Profession-Wide Conference Call heard my commitment to the AAAOM, including my review of our past, present, and future initiatives. Highlights of this call included:
- Review of 2011–2012 activities
- Reference to 2011 and 2012 annual reports
- Review of current activities
- Discussion on 2013-2016 strategic plan
- Overview and importance of committee work and other operational directions
- 2 PDAs were awarded to AAAOM member attendees
In addition to the above highlights, the AAAOM’s 2012 Annual Report reflects the forward movement of AAAOM and provides a clear assessment of our journey during the past year and our path to leadership in the profession.