Have the courage of your convictions

Have the courage of your convictions

Having the courage of your convictions means you're willing to do what you believe is right, even in the face of others disagreeing. I remember really hearing this for the first time from a coach early on in my consulting career. In that context, the coach was saying "You're hired as the expert, so don't be shy about saying things that you know are right but may not be popular."

One area where I see many associations suffer from a lack of conviction is around membership, its benefits, and the grace period. Often, the less convinced an association is of the value of their membership, the longer the grace period will be.

I once had a client who had a two-year(!) grace period. That's right, they would carry "members" for up to two years unpaid, under the assumption that carrying them that long would convince them to renew at some point.

Not only is this an administrative nightmare (e.g., keeping track of "members" who haven't actually paid!), but it utterly diluted membership for all the others members who were actually paying! But most importantly, it showed the staff really didn't believe in the value of membership. If you're willing to give it away for FREE, it clearly has no real value!

To them, and to all my clients with ridiculously long grace periods (and in this day and age, more than 30 days is probably too long but I can tolerate up to 90 days), I say "Have the courage of your convictions. Either your membership is worth what you're charging, or it's not. A 150-day grace period isn't going to make a difference."

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