JAN-FEB 2018

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50 INTECH JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG ISA volunteer leader lessons learned By Jim Keaveney hold ourselves—and each other—accountable to en- sure that the volunteer-staff relationship is cohesive and collaborative. Drucker nailed it when he observed that culture eats strategy for breakfast. As volunteer leaders, we all need to contribute to a culture of trust, collaboration, and continuous improvement. The Change Cycle by Ann Salerno and Lille Brock is an excellent read on surviving and thriving during organi - zational change. The bottom line is that building and leading effective teams is always hard work. My top two reasons for deciding to step up to a volunteer leadership role are: Reason 1: Understanding and mastering the tech- niques to be an effective volunteer leader or commit- tee member enhances skills you need to be successful on the job. The time commit- ment pays divi- dends in terms of developing a wider profession- al network for technical issues and professional guidance. Be sure that your com- pany really un- derstands these advantages, so it buys into supporting your time investment and com- mitments. Make no mistake about it, ISA welcomes and needs more new volunteers. There are many ways for you to contribute, including technical standards de velopment, governance, and image and member- ship, to call out a few. Reason 2: Contributing is what it is all about! We as automation professionals make the world a better place. As your professional organization, ISA helps make our world safer (cybersecurity, alarm manage- ment, safety instrumented systems) while increasing productivity (workforce development, standards best practices). Be proud of this fact, and make sure that your management, friends, and families all know that you are making a difference. If I had to choose just two words to wrap things up, one would be gratitude for the opportunity to learn from so many in my volunteer leader role. The other would echo the call from Jean Luc Picard, the fictional Star Fleet officer from the Star Trek franchise, and challenge each of you to engage! n I would like to share the top two lessons I learned as an ISA leader and the top two reasons to be- come a volunteer leader. Lesson 1: Volunteer leadership or a committee role is like work with one key difference—no one directly reports to you! Indirect influence and team building are the keys traits required to be an effec - tive leader or committee member. Volunteers are not paid to behave in a certain way, but an effec - tive team sets expectations and engagement guide- lines. Failure to learn this lesson will earn an "F" for frustration. It is important to find the right fit for volunteers with different competencies and diverse perspectives to build a team culture of inclusion. At the board level, the composition should best re - flect the type of society that we strive to become. Patrick Lencioni's book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, should be required reading for any associa - tion volunteer. Lesson 2: It is all about trust; the foundation of any good team is ex - ploring change and new approaches to old problems. Involving all in healthy discussions leads to higher qual - ity results. With trust, team members are not afraid to be vulnerable and are willing to express their views and collaborate to resolve differences. Trust empow - ers us to help other volunteers become better team players and embrace change in the form of continu - ous improvement. A trust culture is the cornerstone of any organization, including ISA. I still cringe when I hear, "If it is not broken, why fix it?" President John Kennedy wisely noted that the best time to repair a roof is when it is not raining. It is rare that we have those light bulb "aha" moments, and we really need to drive improvement incrementally. Trusting the various committees and task forces to do their jobs builds a strong organization. Board members or committee chairs need to stay focused on overall strategy and avoid micromanaging. Volunteer leaders also need to trust and respect staff partners who hold the "institutional memory" of the organization. As volunteer leaders, we must the final say | Views from Automation Leaders ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jim Keaveney (jim. keaveney@emerson. com) was ISA president in 2016. He has been an active ISA member for more than 30 years and has served in numerous leadership positions, in- cluding society treasurer, finance committee chair, and District 2 vice presi- dent. Keaveney is the northeast regional man- ager for Emerson Auto- mation Solutions. Make no mistake about it, ISA welcomes and needs more new volunteers.

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