#SLAleads Tips (not just for first timers)

SLA Leadership is next week in Memphis. I’m excited about it because Memphis is the home of Stax, Sun, and Goner records. I’m also excited because I get to hang out with the new crop of SLA leaders and get energized for the association. For newer SLA leaders (or not), here are just a few tips to get the most out of SLA Leadership.

  1. Be present. Participate a dine-around, make it to breakfast, and be sure to attend the Mid-South Chapter Welcome Reception. This is a small conference where you can make connections easier than larger conferences.
  2. The Buddy System. Chances are you will know some people at the Leadership Summit – somebody from your unit, a board member, or somebody you happened to click with previously – but you might not. Making a connection early on in the conference can help you navigate all of the information about SLA governance. I suggest Tom Rink. That man knows everything SLA and is usually very happy to share. Or you can hang with me. (I don’t bite!)
  3. Make a new friend. One step beyond the buddy system is making sure you talk to new people. Actively try to mingle. Yes it can be difficult, but this a mix of people who have shared interests and goals. If you are new to SLA Leadership, this is how you can meet you conference buddy. If you’ve been around a few years, this will help you get new ideas and new connections.
  4. Listen! A lot of information about how SLA runs and operates is presented at this conference. It can be confusing at times, but listening can give you great insight into what the SLA board and HQ are up to.
  5. Speak up! Have a question? A suggestion? Share it with the wider group. Chances are you’re not alone, so speak up.
  6. Be in the room. Attending the sessions and meetings is important, but so is paying attention. While there often is a good back channel discussion on Twitter, don’t get too bogged down in your screen and be active in the room.
  7. Connect with new Chapters or Divisions. If you hear another unit doing something that you think sounds interesting, follow up with them about it. Or maybe you have a similar problem and can work together on a solution? SLA has a broad range of groups, connect with them to make your unit thrive.

So I’ll see you in Memphis!

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