Association Leadership Chronologies

How Did They Do It?

Leaders come in diverse colors, shapes, and sizes, from a wide range of languages and cultures. Although some leaders may be born, most are made, and although leaders in any organization must have certain basic skills and core competencies, no single set of skills or competencies would work for all leadership roles.

To help you better understand how TESOL members have come association leaders, five current and past members of the TESOL Board of Directors have created simplified versions of their journeys from rank and file member to association leader. The chronologies are presented anonymously, and they show how different leaders have served, grown, and led in TESOL International Association.

Differing Backgrounds But Continuous Growth

Though all these members eventually became board members, their backgrounds, focus areas, levels of commitment, and years of service are markedly different. Association leaders do, however, have one thing in common: They are all members who are continuously moving forward, progressing, and growing. Hopefully, leaders from increasingly diverse sociocultural and academic backgrounds will help create even greater diversity in the association’s leadership pathways.

Nonlinear Pathways to Leadership

As you review these chronologies, please keep in mind that not all TESOL association leadership pathways will or should result in becoming a board member. Also, although the chronologies suggest that members moved in a neat-and-tidy line from one position to another, their journeys were often far more circuitous, cyclical, and circular than the chronologies might seem to indicate. We hope you find these association leadership chronologies helpful, and we thank the board members who shared their stories.

Association Leadership Chronologies