December 8 Day 275: Preparing to be Presidential

Today was the first day of the “Developing Your Leadership 2021 Game Plan” Workshop run by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE). MAA Executive Director Michael Pearson suggested that we attend together and I am glad that I took him up on the offer. I have written on leadership a couple of times during this plague year (May 8 Day 61: Leadership and October 15 Day 221: How Do We Lead?) and I still can’t quite believe that I will begin my Presidency for the association in February 2021.

After three hours listening and working with 50 other scientific society professional and volunteer leaders, I am more confident that I am ready for this challenge and that MAA is in a good place. We have clarity on and a shared commitment to our mission, vision , and values; incredible talent and diverse strengths in our people; and a work ethic rooted in service to the association and its members.

A good portion of the workshop was on to how to create a strong CEO-President partnership. Most of it seemed like common sense and I am happy to report that Michael and I have been engaged in the recommended actions for the past 10 months.

The biggest eye-opener for me was one characteristic of a high performing board: a commitment to self-assessment and improvement. Our current board structure is relatively new (approved in 2017. ) It was a three year journey to implement the changes so the idea of more change hadn’t really crossed my mind. This has me thinking about what would success look like for the MAA Board of Directors? And what are the appropriate metrics to track and measure our progress?

Hopefully tomorrow’s session will bring some clarity to my questions. It looks like we are talking about change management. Goodness knows, there is plenty of change that needs to be managed in the time of corona.

The featured image comes from the MAA Math Values blog. Learn more about our values of Inclusivity, Community, Communications, and Teaching & Learning.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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