What is a leader?

At the newspaper where I landed my first job, the best writers were plucked from the newsroom and promoted to editors.

And while some of them were inspiring and talented, there was little understanding that a good writer doesn’t always make the best leader.

What does being a leader mean? How can you gain leadership skills to prepare for future success?

Leadership – like every valuable skill – is something you develop over time. In a recent Inc. magazine column, best-selling author Jacob Morgan notes that the best leaders are not always at the top of the organization chart. “It relies on your ability to influence and engage other people,” he says.

One of the many good reasons to join IABC Orange County and become engaged with the organization is the opportunity to hone your leadership skills. We offer committee jobs, board positions, and other opportunities to develop strategy and programs.

Through IABC/OC you will learn to plan, staff, and execute special events; develop your writing and editing skills; provide strategic leadership to an impressive and far-reaching international organization; and learn leadership skills working side-by-side with experienced colleagues in a variety of communications fields.

When I joined the organization several years ago, I was immediately welcomed into the Communications Committee and began writing stories for the newsletter. In a short time, I was given more responsibilities and helped with the organization and planning of events for our subgroup, IndyComm, which serves independent consultants like me.

It was flattering to be asked to lead an organization like IABC Orange County, but I realized right away that the position requires a lot of good leaders – not just one – to be successful. I am fortunate to work with a board full of dedicated people who want success for our association and the communicators it serves.

New board members Cara Raffele of The Brand Journalist, our Vice President for Professional Development, Eva Finn of Eva Finn Copywriting & Concepts, who heads our Job Board, and Jennifer Mower of Alzheimer’s Orange County, who is our new Events Director, bring a wealth of experience and perspective.

Combined with senior strategists like graphic artist Claudia Miller, who presented at our May mixer and heads ADirections, these new members will help guide IABC Orange County to success in the remaining months of 2018.

Recently recognized as IABC International’s Regional Leader of the Year, Claudia has served as Chapter Advocate for the Pacific Plains Region. A two-time former Orange County Chapter president, she helped lead the 2011 board to become the Mid-Size Chapter of the Year.

A big thank-you to Claudia for her stimulating discussion of the latest graphics trends and the dos and don’ts of working with graphic artists. A small-but-mighty group welcomed the knowledge and inspiration Claudia shared.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with IABC Orange County, please contact me or any of the board members. We’d love to have you.

Cathi Douglas
IABC/OC president, 2018