3 Lessons: Worldly Wise

Leadership Associations Now September/October 2015

For Teresa Cendrowska, vice president for Global Cooperation at ASTM International, slowing down and thinking broadly are essential for success. That means association executives need to step back and cultivate patience.

Teresa Cendrowska
Vice President, Global Cooperation
ASTM International
West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

Cultivate patience.

Objectives aren't achieved overnight. It took us the better part of seven years to accomplish a model cooperative partnership outside the United States. It required many meetings, casual conversations, workshops, and novel approaches to training. But persistence allows time for reflection and adjustment, builds understanding and aptitude, and offers the opportunity to engage others so they are able to contribute to the objectives.

Credit others.

As the senior executive, you're responsible for accomplishing certain metrics and motivating the team. But being the most visible member of the team also means being humble enough to recognize that the work accomplished isn't solely yours. Take the time to recognize others' individual contributions, both paid staff and volunteers. That appreciation is encouraging, empowering, and energizing.

Do what you love.

Growing up in a bilingual household sparked my interest in geography and culture. And as an engineer, I enjoy creative problem-solving. What better assignment could I have than to work across cultures to identify and support technical information and training needs? Careers consume so much of our lifetimes. Do what you enjoy and the enthusiasm you have for your work and organization will shine through to your members, customers, colleagues, and family.