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Director’s Desk: Staying Inspired

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by Angela Bole, CEO, Independent Book Publishers Association –

Angela Bole

As you read through this issue of IBPA Independent, I invite you to consider what you do each year to inspire and motivate yourself to innovate and move forward in your chosen profession of publishing. In other words, what are you doing to stay on “the reading edge?”

If you’re not able to quickly rattle off one or two things, I recommend putting some thought into it. Your response will help keep burnout at arm’s length. For me, the answer to finding inspiration and avoiding burnout comes each year in the form of the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) Annual Meeting, which I attended last month along with the rest of IBPA’s office staff.

Just as IBPA is an association for independent publishers like you, ASAE is an association for association executives like IBPA’s staff. And, just as IBPA Publishing University is an event tasked with inspiring and educating the independent publishing community, of which you’re a part, the ASAE Annual Meeting is an event tasked with inspiring and educating the association management community, of which IBPA is a part.

I’m a firm believer in what ASAE calls “The Power of A.” This is the power associations like IBPA and ASAE have to positively impact the professions they serve. In virtually every business sector and across the country, associations mobilize millions whose expertise and challenging work collectively create stronger communities and business practices. I can’t image an independent publisher not wanting to be part of the IBPA community, just as I can’t image not being part of my association management community through ASAE.

But back to inspiration and motivation.

During last month’s ASAE Annual Meeting, I wrote down three to-dos that I wanted to share in homage to the IBPA motto of “helping each other achieve and succeed.” Perhaps one of these to-dos will prove as valuable to your work as I anticipate they’ll be to mine. I hope so!

Read Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project (ISBN: 978-1101904039). Bailey presented on his “year of productivity,” during which he used himself as a guinea pig to explore how to become as productive as possible. It was funny and practical, and I think I have a lot to learn. Check out the book here.

Explore the degree to which my work is a harmonious passion vs. an obsessive passion. Daniel Learner, a professor of psychology at New York University, revealed the ways our passions can open doors and inspire us (harmonious passion), but also lead to poorer well-being through long hours and an obsessive need to be the best (obsessive passion). It was heartfelt and introspective and gave the audience a lot to think about. Take a look at his website for more of his insights and join us at IBPA Publishing University, April 6-7, 2018 in Austin, Texas, where Daniel will provide the keynote address.

Double down on servant leadership. I’ve long expressed to the IBPA staff my belief that the essence of leadership is service. I was thrilled, then, to hear at least half a dozen speakers reference the ideas first shared in Robert Greenleaf’s book, Servant Leadership (ISBN: 978-0809105540). Here we learn that servant leadership is about identifying and meeting the needs of colleagues, customers (I call them members), and communities above the needs of one’s quest for power and privilege. A welcome lesson to continue exploring in today’s age. See greenleaf.org.

Just before Angela Bole became IBPA’s Chief Executive Officer, she was Deputy Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), which fosters conversation and consensus across all sectors of the book business. Before that, Angela served for two years as BISG’s Associate Director and two years as its Marketing and Communications Manager.

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