Insights Blog



By QLK Team
on May 23, 2019
  • Blog
Why Do Association Leaders Maintain Their Roles Longer Than Corporate Executives?

It's clear that associations serve a purpose and deliver value. In the medical industry, associations help bring like-minded people together to increase their knowledge within their specialized field. Behind these associations, are leaders working to recruit, retain, and engage new and existing members.

When it comes to association leaders maintaining their roles longer than corporate executives, the answer is found deep within the roots of these differing entities.

Although associations and corporations share some similar principles (building the brand, increasing name recognition), the stakes concerning success can be quite different. Simply put, corporate executives answer to profit-driven goals, as association leaders focus primarily on the mutual benefits and interests of its members, and secondarily on driving revenue.

In this article, we'll explore ways that show why association leaders retain their positions longer than corporate execs.

"All Together Now"
When you break down the purpose of an association, you see that it is for the betterment of its members. When more members sign up and are engaged, the more influence an association is going to have. As Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians states, "The concept is that all of us are smarter than any [one] of us." He continues, "Our single greatest objective is advocacy, with people speaking on your behalf to very powerful groups — the president of the United States, large employers, insurance groups. Through an organization you can get access."

For individual members, this means if they have a concern, they can use the breadth of their association to garner feedback. This can be done, from an association standpoint, through professional influencers, lobbyists, or even a written blog post on the association website that attracts thousands of visitors. An association leader must ensure this access is always attainable.

Enhance Networking Opportunities
Networking is one of the more powerful tools of the association arsenal. Knowing what your colleagues are doing relating to a new procedure on the market, or device being used, will provide you with a personalized, ground-zero approach to learning. Sometimes a fifteen-minute conversation in-between meetings will give you more insight than an entire conference! It's worth taking the extra time to ensure this occurs.

An excellent association leader will provide the means for members to network with one another. This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Creating conferences with good flow
  • Webinars with a Q & A
  • Comments section of a blog post
  • Local meetups

Propel Industry Engagement
More engagement delivers a stronger association. When members attend conferences or read up on the latest newsletter or blog post from an association, this creates momentum for the brand to continue growing. The more members retain from the source, the more likely they're willing to share the content with others.

In order to keep engagement high, association leaders must evolve with their members. It's important they stay connected to their members to ensure they adapt to their specific needs.

How to Determine Success
Corporations look to stock price as the primary marker for success. Associations look to membership and engagement levels for theirs. To compare the two outright might seem unfair. But the same principles apply to both — to be successful, you need a solid brand, with good communication and a product that satisfies a need.

At QLK, we know how to deliver success to our association clients. With years of experience on our side, we provide a tried and true process to deliver the candidate you're looking for.

Contact us today to learn how we can help in your search.