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The RGI Blog

5 Questions for Leslie Murphy, FASAE, CAE

RGI has talented, knowledgeable and professional executive directors guiding strategy and direction for all client associations. We are recognizing these leaders with the 5 Questions blog series. We asked each of RGI’s executive directors five questions about what they’ve learned and where they see the future of association management.

This week we feature RGI’s fearless leader, Leslie Murphy, FASAE, CAE. Leslie has been in the association management profession for 30 years. Leslie joined Raybourn Group International in 2007, and in 2008, she and her husband Tim purchased the company. In addition to serving as President of RGI, Leslie serves as a senior consultant for RGI’s consulting practice and as Executive Director for two client associations: the National Dart Association (NDA) and the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

Question 1: What about association management do you enjoy most?

LM: The people. I enjoy working with great volunteers and staff. I’ve had mentors over the years who challenged and encouraged me. I enjoy trying to do the same for those around me.

Question 2: What about association management keeps you up at night?

LM: How to help an association deal with the ever-increasing challenges they face as we work together to accomplish their mission.

Question 3: What is the greatest challenge you face in your role as an exec?

LM: Mostly the above, but more specifically: Communicating the tremendous value the association provides to members and other stakeholders when they hear/see so many other messages.

Question 4: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started in association management?

LM: That sometimes you have to have patience. I wasn’t very patient earlier in my career. (Some may think I’m still not.) I’ve learned that good ideas can move quickly–but sometimes significant, cultural change takes time and perseverance.

Question 5: Where do you see associations in 10 years? 20 years?

LM: The change I see, especially now, is in the role of the executive. Earlier in my career, being a good, strong manager made you a great executive. Then the role required someone who could be a strong leader alongside his or her Board of Directors. Now, to be truly effective, I see a need for an executive to be part entrepreneur/innovator.

Looking longer than five years down the line just adds to my “what keeps me up at night list.”