Experience…Why It Means Something

There is a lot to be said for new experiences and new ideas.  They make us think.  And sometimes, they make us act.  Experience provides us with a knowledge-base on which we can rely to make decisions in the future.  Experience as a leader within the AIA is equally important because it allows us to better make decisions that affect others.  If you have limited experience in strategic planning, if you have limited experience in advocacy or if you have limited exposure to the governance of state or local components, you may not have the context needed to allow you to correctly make decisions that ultimately shape the future of the profession. Our future. 

As with many organizations, the AIA is about making an impact at various levels of our profession.  Locally, we look at education, planning, advocacy, communication and awareness along with governance.  At the state or regional level, we may focus more on the impact of advocacy, and how it affects not only the present, but also the future.  Nationally, the work is a collection of not only what we do at our local and state components, but also about looking at the entire organization and how the work at all levels of the AIA is focused on meeting the goals of our mission. 

How we approach a situation is always influenced by what we know.  If we understand how decisions are made in our city councils, and our statehouse, we are better prepared to understand how the decisions are made within national agencies, committees and within the two bodies of Congress.  If we understand and oversee the governance of an organization, we can recognize how to make it better.  And, if we have worked on or developed new policies and positions, we can comprehend how our input and choices influence the actions of others. 

Experience comes from many places and for those who provide leadership and governance, it is an invaluable tool. 

Over the past 30 plus years, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in the governance of not only the AIA, but a variety of boards and commissions on which I have served.  I believe that this history of leadership helps me to better understand the needs of the AIA and the viewpoints of our board members whose own experiences provide a diverse and wide-reaching perspective.  It is my hope, that in service to the AIA, I can use my experience to lead us to a new level of performance. 

Bruce Sekanick