Tuesday, October 16, 2007
ESAE meets ASAE
Just your regular autumn day last week in London. People are dressed according to the weather: grey, dull, sad and incredibly hurried. Luckily I wasn't prepared for rain so I was wearing my Indian Summer costume for the occasion. And the second happy moment comes from Sue Etherington (middle), international sales manager of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. For the Master Class of John Graham IV (right) she had picked two sky blue conference suites with a lovely view on the Westminster Area. For the first time in my life I saw two presidents of two continents who treat each other as equals, heartily and respectfully: Luc Maene (left), president of ESAE (European Society of Association Executives) and John Graham IV, CEO and president of ASAE (American Society of Association Executives). John was invited to give a Master Class on ‘Adapting to the new Leadership Imperative’ for an exquisite group of European Association Executives. It didn't take long before the entire room was all ears for 'What Remarkable Associations Do That others Don’t'. An exposé based on the book 7 Measures of Success, published by ASAE. Everyone was full of praise afterwards. The listeners got to know John as a CEO, more accurately, as a Broker of Ideas. But also as a scouts boy - John used to be very active in the Boy Scouts of America - who loves ‘Great People and Great Ideas’. And little sister ESAE can use the latter very well: ideas to grow. By means of his Master class, John has coloured the day permanently warm for me. And I think that after ESAE's Board Meeting - of which John and Susan Sarfati form part now - a few ESAE people started dreaming. Luc Maene dreamt of an ESAE with 23,000 members and an annual budget of 40 million dollar, and Rachel Frankel of ESAE secretariat dreamt of a 2008 ESAE Congress in Brussels with 1/100th participants of a normal ASAE Congress in Washington. I don't dream. I merely hope that John repeats his Master Class in Brussels (16-17 January 2008). European and International Association Executives, mark your calenders for the ESAE Annual Congress: Working together in Partnership. Don't miss it!