Monday, March 3, 2014

Vegas Baby!

As many of you know, this past week I was in Las Vegas, enjoying the life of sun, shows, and ...

Caught you didn't I? 

Yes I went to Las Vegas, and yes it was a great vacation, but the start of this whole escapade was Lady and the Champs.

A Speakers conference held annually by Patricia Fripp (the Lady) and several Toastmasters International World Champion Speakers: Darren LaCroix, Ed Tate, and Craig Valentine. Each of these professionals are known for their speaking and coaching prowess, and I've enjoyed their educational materials in the past, so I wanted to experience some face-to-face time with them (and 350 other attendees).

The event started Friday and progressed throughout the weekend. I learned a lot from the sessions I attended (such as: Inside Secrets of Powerful, Persuasive Sales Presentations, and Copy This! How to Write Compelling Copy That Sells!); but honestly gained more from the attendees I met. I interacted with several of the sponsors for Lady and the Champs, who are willing to work with me on several upcoming projects; met a branding expert (Melanie Depaoli), and a professional storyteller (Michael Hauge) who works with Hollywood Script Writers; and probably 50+ more people who each had their own stories and strengths to share. Some where asking for help, in other cases I asked for theirs. In either case, The insights were incredible, and I hope to make many of them friends for my own journey. 

But what is the leadership lesson? Here it is: 

1. Find the time to recharge, and surround yourself with people that are excited about the same thing you are. When you are in a difficult time, or trying to overcome challenges, these people will work with you to overcome them, and they will provide the inspiration to keep going.  A leader cannot operate in a vacuum, and sometimes you have to reach out to others for help, even in areas where you are strong. 

2. Always keep growing. I went to this Lady and the Champs to grow my public speaking and coaching skills; to learn from people more accomplished than me.  A quote I heard recently (it was unaccredited, if you know, please let me know):

A man who empties his wallet into his head will find his head will fill his wallet.

To me, this means that a person who spends money on education and improvement will use that improvement and education to grow and become more valuable. In order to keep growing I will empty my wallet a few more times on Conferences such as this. 

In the end, I grew my list of people who I will help, as well as my list of those who will help me. I was educated on some of the finer points of speaking, coached on one of my stories, and opened the door to several exciting future opportunities. All great steps forward, which will bear fruit in the near future, and I will discuss (possibly) in future posts.

But this isn't the only lesson from Las Vegas. Standby later in the week as I discuss customer service, situational awareness, and meeting expectations in a post later this week about the hotel / casino we stayed at, and a trip out to the Grand Canyon.

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