Clint Skutchan, recovering association CEO, consultant, and podcast show host, digs deep into the struggles of association life, including having to deal with people who seem to just be “riding it out.” Whether it be unmotivated volunteer leaders or members that fear change and use their power for the not-so-good, Clint seems to have dealt with it all. Tune in to hear what it takes to create real change and shift the minds of the people who have the power to make it.
Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or in the Podcasts App on your phone. Never miss a beat from Leigh by visiting The Leigh Brown Experience.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 01:15 – Clint’s background
- 01:20 – He was an association CEO for 10 years, spent 10 years in talk radio, and he now consults
- 01:45 – He combines his association and media skills to nationally consult and speak
- 02:11 – Why should people be interested in association life?
- 02:19 – If you aren’t paying attention, others can take advantage of leadership roles and relationships
- 02:52 – Local, state, and national associations leadership tips; a woman called Leigh to ask for advice on her incoming local presidential role
- 03:50 – Leadership is all about what you can do for the association and its members; it is about serving and understanding your role and process
- 04:45 – Leigh asked the woman how the CEO/association executive is, because that’ll give insight into what advice to give
- 05:22 – Leigh asked why the woman labeled the person as “bad to medium;” they don’t communicate, value the members, or have a clear and positive view of the future
- 05:58 – What would Clint tell an incoming leader who’s dealing with a staff person who isn’t energetic or shoulder-to-shoulder with their volunteer leaders?
- 06:07 – Asking the question: “Why are you here?”
- 06:20 – What is their motivation? Are they just riding it out?
- 06:45 – Figure out how to manage that or how to move away from that kind of executive
- 07:00 – If you are an executive that has lost your motivation, you should change personnel or change your perspective
- 07:21 – “My Year:” One person’s legacy that may not encompass the whole
- 07:52 – Ask the staff what they need; sometimes it’s the volunteer’s problem
- 08:09 – Some volunteers are used to running their own business; an association is very different because it is a collective experience
- 08:43 – There isn’t any real formal training in most cases for association leadership
- 09:02 – When you rise to leadership you are no longer just focusing on one thing; you must oversee it all and the whole team
- 09:20 – Are volunteer leaders provided the correct education to succeed and understand what they’ve said “yes” to, since the role is entirely different than their day-to-day life? Does Clint think that realtors are responding to threats in a personal way because they must move fast in their business life and associations typically move slowly? Have associations failed to respond because they don’t educate their volunteer leaders correctly?
- 10:18 – The good organizations are doing it right; there is a big difference between those and the ones just finding their way through
- 10:33 – The ones geared towards flexibility and change work in a change-based world; the ones stuck on status quo get stuck
- 11:02 – How can volunteer leaders push their associations to have a mindset that embraces change rather than resists it?
- 11:28 – It comes down to the association’s culture which consists of strategic focus, repeatable processes, consistent outcomes, and mutual passion
- 12:15 – With those things, you’ll identify the self as an entity; it starts with a good staff and good leadership
- 12:47 – If you have a forward-thinking leader in an association but the volunteer leaders fear change, resist listening, and eliminate staff, how do you get past that?
- 14:00 – When you are an executive you hire and fire volunteers that make decisions based on whims, are too comfortable, don’t want to follow processes
- 14:53 – Ultimately it’s a matter of how much attention the general membership pays to those who are their leaders and their decisions
- 15:00 – Their actions show if the leadership is ready to lead and represent
- 15:35 – What Clint thinks will happen in real estate life within the next 3-5 years
- 15:55 – He looks through the lens of the association
- 16:08 – 5 trends he sees in the association world: leadership shift impacts will find their way to the local organizations
- 16:50 – Consolidation shifts will continue (regionalization) and will impact day-to-day agents
- 17:28 – Advocacy must start to adapt; the way advocacy is approached and delivered needs to shift; if you aren’t going to adapt you are going to struggle
- 18:00 – As markets settle in, we are going to see agents have extra time on their hands; there will be more volunteers coming back to the association
- 18:50 – Even new realtors can have the knowledge and expertise to make good positive changes in the association world
- 20:00 – When does Clint think we will see a National Multiple Listing service that is backed by realtors?
- 20:19 – He doesn’t see a national one happening, he thinks regional ones that revolve around true markets are more likely
- 21:54 – You can read Clint’s columns on Inman or listen to his podcast called The Association
3 Key Points
- Leadership is about serving and understanding your role and processes; know what you can do for your team and members.
- Get involved in association life but be adaptable and accepting of positive change and future-driven leaders.
- Both in association life and in your own business, the keys to a solid culture are strategic focus, repeatable processes, consistent outcomes, mutual passion, and identifying the self as the entity.