Does your association’s CEO (or do you, as the case may be) have a background in the association industry, or in the specific industry the association serves? Steve Drake addressed this issue in his blog post, Should the CEO be an Industry Insider or Association Professional? In it, he excerpts an online discussion on the subject. I recommend reading the insightful comments of the participants.
What do you think? Is it more important to understand the pains of the industry, or know the ins and outs of running an association? Is it helpful to have an overlap? If, as a CEO, you fall neatly in one category or the other, what steps can you learn more about the other camp to be a better leader of industry professionals? We welcome your thoughts.