2017 The Year of The Brand
I was looking at the historic gavel that Immediate Past Chair Nancy Lindholm gave me at the W.A.C.E. Conference, signed by past Chairs dating back to the 1960’s.
Among the many industry icons, I found the faded printed signature of Bill Dauer, former CEO of the San Francisco Chamber. Bill retired in Lodi, that’s how I knew him as I was truly the last person to be mentored by him.
Knowing that I now hold the gavel, the same one Bill and many others of his caliber have held, is a truly humbling and awesome experience. I suppose every person to get this chairmanship honor says, “All I want to do is not screw things up.”
I believe doing my best for the organization and individual members will be to help CEOs see themselves cloaked in the important findings of our W.A.C.E. Chamber Branding research. I also believe that Chamber leaders can become examples of our brand’s values and the pillars, which are our foundation.
Our research has pointed out many important things including what people think chambers should be on our best days and what excellence produces when we do. But the singular most important finding of the study, in my opinion, is the WHY we do it. That answer is a highly personal mystery, laced in between the opportunity of our brand promise and how each of us engages the challenges and opportunities in our day to day work. That is the key question you as a leader must answer. What lasting impact or game-changing work will people remember you by?
Chambers hold the only address at the intersection of successful businesses and a thriving community, which is where and why we exist.
When the question is asked, “Where is the Chamber on this issue?” The core of the answer is always the same. “The Chamber is working on the biggest issues facing our businesses to ensure they succeed so our community can thrive.
So I ask you, what are those issues in your community? What are those issues facing your business community? The ones you may think are too big to tackle, the ones too scary or politically charged to think about disrupting?
Read the branding research again and find your WHY, find yourself and go for it.
The W.A.C.E. Board & staff are here to help you succeed and make 2017 the year you live and work the brand.
W.A.C.E. Branding Project (PDF)
2017-2018 W.A.C.E. Board Chair
Lodi District (CA) Chamber of Commerce