(Yes, that means you, too.)  Most of our clients are trade organizations made up of many members running businesses. Trade associations are led by good people. But when they took their seat on the board of directors, they really didn’t sign on for the global-to-local effects of COVID or combat or chaos. How do leaders care for others? How do leaders get the care THEY need? Stressed leaders make poor decisions. Duh.

Much is being said about leadership. Association boards and their presidents must be leaders which seems a very tall order given the burnout and stress they feel. Since half of our GNP is in the power of small businesses, proper attention is not being paid to the mental health of those who lead them, in my opinion. When people ask us, “How are you?” we say, “fine.” But how can we be?

The Great Recession recovery was still lurching forward when the divisive presidential campaign of 2015 unsettled us. That was followed by four years of fever-pitch politics which tumbled right into a devastating pandemic environment crushing nearly every small business. Toss in incredible life changes and we look for the leaders in our business world to show us the passion to keep going. But, nearly half of all workers do not feel emotionally supported.

Association boards and their presidents must be the leaders in their industries. That’s what they signed up for, service to their members. In the next few months, I plan to suggest mental health (wellness) experts for association events. Nonprofit leaders can learn how to offset the insecurity and stresses they and their members feel.

Let’s admit we all could use those positive tools and tips right now.

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