The premier resource for exhibition and event industry professionals

Positive Leadership Works Like a Charm

IAEE President and CEO David DuBois examines how positive leadership benefits organizations and their teams.

Editorial Note: Originally published in the March 2023 issue of Trade Show Executive magazine.

A fun exercise in March is to stake our claim on the highly sought after “luck of the Irish.” Saint Paddy’s Day reminds us that good luck is always welcomed, but what if you could create your own good luck? And, have it all year long?

Executive leaders own the responsibility of realizing the best outcome for their organizations and stakeholders. Successful leaders understand they cannot do this alone; their team is what makes or breaks what they need and want to accomplish. A substantial portion of our success relies on choosing the right teammates. Once that task is completed, it falls upon us to enable them to achieve their greatest potential and where positive leadership should be in your playbook.

Positive leadership is an effective management style. Those of us who have conducted business for a few decades remember when executives often took a hard-nosed, “us versus them” approach to managing their teams. While discipline and order still merit their place in today’s executive agenda, we have learned that you get much further in a more harmonious business environment. Especially given the incoming younger workforce and the ongoing call for greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

There is a wealth of information available on the subject, but here are a few ideals that I like to apply in my positive leadership strategy:

Engage. It is important for leaders to make themselves accessible, and exercise fair and compassionate management. Equally important is that your colleagues know you are genuine and transparent in your actions. While there are appropriate levels of information sharing that should be clearly communicated, it behooves leaders to convey to their teams that first they see the human beings followed by their roles within the organization.

Collaborate. I am an avid advocate for collaboration. I believe it is one of the greatest strengths of our industry and we have seen that more than ever in our post-COVID recovery. Communication is the glue that holds collaboration together, as it is imperative that all parties remain on the same page throughout the process. Between the two, the possibilities for innovation and results-driven benefits are boundless.

Empower. I say this often because it’s true: workforce development is a top priority for executives. Providing your team the opportunity to function at its best bolsters your organization’s performance and one hand feeds the other. It also builds trust, which builds loyalty, thereby ensuring everyone sees the benefit and believes in giving their all to the organization’s common goals.

Keep up. Your team is a work in progress which means you are a work in progress. Do yourself a favor and stay current on what matters to your team because it not only keeps you connected to the heart of your organization but also stimulates your development. They say college professors keep a youthful outlook on life because they are surrounded by youth. The same premise applies here in keeping your business perspective fresh and current. Coupled with the irreplaceable value of your experience, you cement yourself (and your organization) as a powerhouse.

Positive leadership packs quite the punch! While good luck is never bad, it is not the foundation for strategic plans. Having said that, I will always welcome a run of good luck and wish you the same. In the spirit of the season, I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May peace and plenty bless your world
With a joy that long endures
And may all life’s passing seasons
Bring the best to you and yours.

David DuBois, CMP Fellow, CAE, FASAE, CTA
IAEE President & CEO
Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance Co-President

Share Post

Stay Up To Date

Related Posts

iaee blog station logo

Stay Up To Date

Join over 15,000 followers dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the exhibition and event industry!