Last year, I spent my first PRSSA National Conference in Indianapolis attending every session I possible could and gathering as much knowledge and insight as I could remember. This year, as President of our Chapter, I got the opportunity to attend extra “special” sessions with fellow Chapter Presidents from across the country.

On the first day of the 2017 PRSSA National Conference in Boston, I got the opportunity to attend the Chapter President’s Leadership Workshop with Ben Butler. Butler is the client services director for Top Hat, an award-winning marketing communications firm in Pittsburgh. When I found out I’d be hearing from Mr. Butler I was super excited. He happens to be good friends with one of my professors at AU, Jason Mollica. Professor Mollica had spoken about Mr. Butler before in class numerous times. I was eager to hear from Mr. Butler himself and learn about how he has become so successful in what he does.

His presentation was different, in a good way. Instead of discussing what chapter presidents should do in leading their members, he instead talked about what leaders don’t do. Below is Butler’s guide to things you should do if you don’t want to lead your chapter to success.

  • Don’t care about your people.
  • Don’t have a roadmap.
  • Say yes to everything.
  • Don’t delegate.
  • Don’t do what you say.
  • Don’t be resourceful.
  • Don’t have mentors.

The one piece of advice that stuck with me most from Ben’s session was “To be in the loop, not the loop itself”. Leaders should be hands on, but only to a certain extent. In order for people around you to perform at the highest level, you must trust them. If for whatever reason you don’t trust the people you work with, you need to find yourself a new team.

Since attending Conference and hearing from Mr. Butler, I have implemented some of his advice into how I lead AU’s Chapter on a day-to-day basis. I’m looking forward to wrapping up this semester by incorporating more of Mr. Butler’s insight into our Chapter.