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Intended to promote the highest standards of professional competence, and based on the principles of good practice, as articulated by the Institute of Leadership & Management’s Dimensions of Leadership and other accepted models of impactful leadership, compass is designed to support chief executives as they navigate their profession, aiding them in assessing their leadership strengths, identifying areas for improvement, and planning their ongoing professional development.

And for a  new generation of association professionals, who are navigating their careers through association management and working towards or progressing through their c-suite roles, compass provides an understanding of the qualities and competencies that are necessary for success as an association’s most senior leader.


compass can be used in a variety of ways, supporting development of the chief executive and of the broader association.

Benchmark your performance

compass can be used to benchmark your performance as a chief executive, gathering feedback, reflecting with honesty on your performance and understanding your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the key themes and standards articulated in the systems map.

Planning your professional development

Over time compass will be augmented with tools and signposts to help you plan your professional development, with IAL-endorsed courses and qualifications, and links to resources that your contemporaries have recommended and utilised as part of their own learning strategy.

Recruiting a new Association CEO

compass can be used as a reference point when recruiting a new chief executive. That’s not to say the systems map should be used prescriptively but rather as a tool to help identify the key strategic areas of association work and the concomitant priority skills, knowledge and attributes that will be sought through the recruitment process.

Planning your association career pathway

Similarly, compass will be of interest to c-suite professionals planning their career pathway into association leadership; or to associations’ looking to succession plan and develop a talent pipeline for the chief executive role, laying out a clear road map for the development of crucial skills, knowledge and attributes.

Setting your association’s strategic goals

compass will also be invaluable when setting your association’s strategic goals, giving clarity on key areas of an association’s endeavour and outlining the performance criteria that will help drive success.


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