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What Opera Has Taught Me About Association Management

ASAE Fellows Retreat - June 2011

Mark Golden

on 29 February 2012

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Transcript of What Opera Has Taught Me About Association Management

My Passion for Opera
La Boheme
Don Giovanni
Der Ring des Nibelungen
12 months
15 live opera performances
6 cities
3 countries
What Opera
Has Taught
Me About
The problem with Wagner
1. Sometimes you need to think with your heart, not your head. A simple message, simply told and expressed with conviction and authenticity, trumps complexity, nuance and sophistication.

2. People will forget their own petty interests and rally round a higher goal if it that goal is compelling enough.

3. Your relationship with your board, your members, your staff may experience its ups and downs, but they will love you in the end, particularly if you can die dramatically!
1. There is glamour in exercising power and being in the spotlight, but it can be a distraction. It does not always lead you where you need to go. In fact, it can lead to Hell.

2. You can never shake free of the mistakes in judgement you make in Act I, Scene 1 by trying to avoid them. They will come back to haunt you in Act 2, Scene 5 unless you make them right.


3. There is a certain nobility in staying true to your values and convictions, regardless of the consequences, rather than compromising or violating the principles you hold as fundamental.
1. Don’t be naïve. Nobility of purpose and purity of intentions are no defense against the conniving, manipulation of less noble interests who are willing to exploit you.

2. Trust, but verify. You can’t rely upon agreements struck with unreliable partners.
1. Contracts protect ... they also bind. Be careful what you commit yourself to. It might seem expedient at the time, but prove inconvenient later, when you are held accountable.

2. Shortcuts in ethics and sharp deals inevitably lead to further demands that further compromise your integrity and values.

3. Seeking approval, money, power, whatever for selfish ends makes you a slave to those false ideals; it is only in acting selflessly for the common good that you can be free of care.
For the script that accompanied this presentation, please click on the link below:

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