A Reason to Celebrate

This month my family will gather to celebrate my parent’s 65th wedding anniversary. Oh we are doing it up big with a dinner for 90 or so at a local country club. The festivities will last about five days with the out-of-towners staying that long to prepare, celebrate and recover.

It’s a momentous occasion and one that should be acknowledged just the way we are doing it with a big party and a celebration of a life raising 5 kids, babysitting grandchildren and sharing in the young lives of great grandchildren.

Can you even imagine? I can’t and I am a witness to it. Sixty-five years of annoying habits, arguments, ailments and disputes. But of course, there was always a lot of love, respect and caring.

And the bond not only affects them but everyone around them. With this example of a partnership to emulate, I have always nurtured strong relationships in my personal and professional life, as have my siblings. My parents have set a great example.

We as a family have always commemorated their milestone anniversaries with trips to Hawaii, parties and at 60 years a Caribbean Cruise because they deserve to be celebrated. So we will be reveling in this wonderful milestone and starting to plan for the 70th Anniversary because to do anything else would be so unlike us!


In my many years of association management, I always considered my most important role to be a manager of people and a mentor. There is no greater challenge than supervising people and no greater reward than when they display the same principles and integrity that you sought to instill.

It doesn’t always work out that way, for one reason or another things can go wrong but when then there are those special employees that do exactly what you had hoped they would. They learn, absorb and even mimic the best practices they observe in you.

Performance reviews, can be painful but take them seriously and ensure that your comments will help them grow in their job and in the organization. Best honest along the way too, an employee should never be surprised by something in the annual review.

And don’t forget those who don’t directly report to you, your knowledge and actions are observed and you can be an example to those who are not your direct reports. Always do what you say.

Learn as much as you teach. Everybody has gifts and knowledge that you don’t have. My past employees have taught me countless lessons.

I read a post on facebook yesterday that said, “Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.” So very true.

If you are a manager of people relish the experience and strive to set an example of integrity and respect that your employees will want to emulate.

Kathie Niesen, CMP is a former Education Manager at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. She is currently consulting with Coe Truman International and looking for new opportunities.