I had the pleasure of co-presenting at the DRIVING CHANGE: What does it really take to succeed? event hosted by the Strategic Leadership Forum. It was exhilarating being in front of an audience again. Presenting has been a large part of my career and it felt like home standing in front of a great group of professionals. I also appreciate working with amazing co-presenters and organizers during the months leading up to the session. Being part of an engaged team is a privilege, which I miss. A party of one is not always a party.
Here are the “things to remember” I jotted down after the session:
|On the air!
– Think like the audience
– It’s about the stories
– Less is more
– Pictures are worth a 1,000 words
– Props are good when used sparingly
– Different perspectives work really well together
– Preparation is key
– There’s so much to learn from everyone
|Phil, Sheila Legon, Len Nanjad, and Gail Severini
A highlight happened just before my presentation. Someone I had worked with many years ago had sent an email about me to the leader of the event, Gail, which she read out as my introduction, just like at a wedding. I was blown away by the kindness of the note especially since she had sent it from the US and would have attended with more notice. I am feeling gratitude for my friend from long ago and everyone who made this event a success. Thank you.
Recently, I took on a consulting assignment to co-design and facilitate a two-day team meeting. Why did I do it? First, I had worked with the leader before and knew it would be fun. Second, it’s been a while since I worked on a change project and I didn’t want to become rusty. Third, based on an initial phone briefing I knew I could help.
Getting dressed for my first meeting I remembered that tying ties is not a strength. Wearing a suit, however, felt good. As I entered the office building I felt ‘corporate.’ As I waited in the lobby I mused that these spaces are the same around the world – the seating area layout, employees briskly walking with purpose, a courier dropping off a package, and a receptionist directing a call – I could have been in any city. In the meeting, I could feel energy. There was a puzzle that needed solving and we were gathering pieces to do so. As I drove home, my mind was full of questions, facts, and possibilities. I was alive.
There is a unique confidence felt when doing something you have done successfully many times before: you know the raw materials, you can sense what works and what doesn’t, and you don’t stop until you get it right. This is how I felt when I was working on the design. Facilitating was great, too. Interacting with a team reminded me how much people have to give.
After the event I made the following notes:
– Everything effects mood, e.g., location, tone, pacing, language, etc.
– People can’t absorb all the information they are given (no matter how you give it to them)
– Individuals need to be understood and validated (including me)
– Energy is contagious
– A team with a common goal is extremely powerful
– Change work is exhausting
– Helping people build a better future is the biggest thrill
Now it’s back to editing my second draft and writing additional stories. I have missed my book over the past couple of days. Would I take on another assignment? Absolutely, if it had the same elements as this one. You always get more than you give.