The Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook is a tremendous resource with over
3,000 6,000+ people interacting and giving advice on issues facing chamber professionals.
Recently a new chamber executive asked the group for advice:
What’s your #1 piece of advice for a Chamber newbie?? In my 4th week as Executive Director and am excited to gain ideas wherever I can.
What Advice Would You Give to a New Chamber Executive?
Thirty or so chamber professionals gave her some very poignant advice. Here’s what a few of them had to say. Do you agree with their input?
- Don’t take things personally. – Debra Youngberg
- Don’t make any promises in the first 60 days and visit as many members in the first 90 days as possible. Sign up for IOM or get it on the budget. – Anissa Freeman Starnes
- Always return emails or phone calls within 24 hours. – Sarah Cressy
- Take one step at a time and smile through everything. – Alice Crabbe Perez
- Be patient. – Tamera Julian
- Go and meet with as many members as possible and also reach out to other Directors in your area. Ask them for best practices and try not to be too overwhelmed. – Amy Stockdale
- Always be true to what you stand for. – Shelby Lawley McNamara
- Seek out members you can connect with easily and LISTEN. – Teri Wilson Edwards
- Accept help from your board and from your members when they offer because you can’t do it all. – Amanda Settle
- Find and talk with the biggest supporters of the chamber, and do the same for the biggest detractors. – Andrew Cripps
- Pace yourself. – Leonardo McClarty
- Be creative and innovative and keep proposing new ideas on strengthening your local economy, legislative advocacy and promoting your community. – Bob Canter
- Use ideas that work for you — basically steal that great idea from another chamber — no one will be mad at you. – Karen Hutchinson-Talaski
- Everything your chamber does should keep your organization ON MISSION. – Edward Rodriguez
What would you add to this list? Join the conversation here.
Get even more great advice for a new (or experienced!) chamber executive director in our expanded guide “Your First 90 Days as the New Chamber Executive Director.”