Every person in a team is a leader. ~ Alison Levine, 2015 PCMA Convening Leaders.
Leadership matters! Whether leading an entire conference team or working in a meetings department as part of a team, leadership matters.
So are you a conference leader? Do you lead others in a way to get their brains, hearts, minds and souls to see a strategic picture that leads to results? Or do you just follow others’ directions allowing whatever to happen?
You Choose Your Role
The challenge you face as a conference organizer or meeting planner is taking on the role of being a ridiculously in charge rock solid leader.
You can decide to be a meetings’ transactional order taker and fulfiller.
The choice is yours.
You may decide that all you want to do for the rest of your life is take orders from someone else. Check off the meetings’ tasks as you complete them. Hide in the show office during the event. Get your regular paycheck. And not be responsible for anything else.
Or you can decide to be a leader. You align your vision for a meeting with the vision of your client—an internal client who is a colleague that owns the meeting or a customer client. You can help define your role, your purpose and your conference’s direction and vision.
The choice is yours.
Setting Your Limits
Your perspective, your vision, your idea of your role in creating that conference has everything to do with what you allow, what you build, what you create and what you own.
In your mind, what are your limits? What borders do you draw around what you are supposed to do to meet the minimal job requirements or what you can do to help fulfill a bigger picture?
Do you say, “That’s not my job. That belongs to someone else.” Or perhaps you are willing to ask questions of those that are in other departmental silos responsible for other parts of the meeting.
You set your limits. No one else does. No one else can control your mind. You do.
You set your borders of what is and what can be. You set the agenda. You make the rules.
Sure, you ultimately work for someone else whether it’s a boss, supervisor or customer.
However, you decide in your mind, what you create and what you allow…to paraphrase clinical psychologist, acclaimed leadership expert and best-selling author Dr. Henry Cloud.
You’ve set the boundaries on what you allow. You’ve set your border line and define what is actually going to happen with your work. You own it.
You Are The DRI
Who is the DRI, the directly responsible individual, to use the language of Apple?
Who owns what you do related to conference planning? You do!
And a real leader owns it.
A real leader defines and creates the boundaries that drive the behavior and performance of every team member.
A ridiculously in charge rock solid conference leader:
- Considers the paying attendees’ real business outcomes as their own conference outcomes.
- Leverages strategic thinking first before ever considering logistics.
- Respects that what happens after the conference on the paying attendees’ job is more important than what actually happens at the conference. The two are intertwined. Attending the conference should lead to progress, improved job performance and results.
- Provides focus, energy and clarity to designing an attendee experience.
- Fosters a welcoming hospitable inviting conference culture.
- Focuses on empowering the team to experiment and try new things that improve the attendees’ conference experience.
- Creates an emotional climate for the team and attendees that is safe (meaning it’s ok to take risks and offer different opinions), engaging and motivational.
You can become that ridiculously in charge rock solid conference leader!
Hat Tips Dr. Henry Cloud’s Boundaries For Leaders.
What type of conference culture, team, or organization have you created or allowed? How do you and your conference team need to be different from what you are today?