Showing posts with label leading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leading. Show all posts

Friday, January 1, 2016

We Are All Leaders of the New Year

We are all leaders. We choose to take lead of some, if not hopefully every, aspect of our lives. And although each of us is completely accountable for our individual actions, our actions ultimately serve the greater good. 

So this year, and every year . . . 

Make your interactions the most they can be. Instead of just meeting someone new or rekindling an existing relationship, find each and every way you can work together to make a difference. 

Read books, articles, & blogs that focus on innovation that matters. Not innovation that only serves to boost you, your brand, or even your industry, but rather innovation that makes a difference for human progress. 

Write. I know this is a tough one for some. Heck, it's tough for me. But you don't have to call yourself a writer to write. Just write, and I think you might be surprised by what comes out. 

By the end of this new year, we want look forward into the next, not backward, and realize that our choices matter. Because we only grow when each of us has recognized that leadership is a choice, not a fate.

How will you lead this year? What difference will you make? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Don't Underestimate the Marketing Value of Volunteers

Have you ever volunteered for an event, or cause?  Did you feel underappreciated or that your effort and time were abused?  You're not alone.

While I must admit that this thought stems from experiences in my life from community and industry led volunteer efforts, I'm sure you have your own war stories.  When your volunteerism is devalued, it creates unnecessary drama and heartache for both you and the organization, business, or group you're working with.  And who needs drama in their lives . . . unless, of course, you're watching a good movie or live theatrical performance.  

For the organizations, groups, and businesses leading a cause or event, volunteers can be some of your greatest marketing assets.  By treating volunteers respectfully, everyone wins:  the leading organization, group or business, the cause or event itself, and even the volunteers.  Volunteers help the marketing effort primarily through viral marketing, spreading the word about your cause or event to people you might not otherwise reach.  But if you abuse their time you lose them and the people they know.

Here are some considerations to show appreciation for volunteers (or for volunteers to look for in a volunteer-driven cause or event):
  • Some volunteers are okay with casual or even formal word-of-mouth or paper certificate recognition (and some are fine with nothing), but most appreciate those little (or big) extra perks.  In my experiences, community organizations often put limitations on the perks or rewards because they feel they will get a better ROI; don't do this.
  • Just because a volunteer runs a business and has expertise in a specific area that they might otherwise charge for, doesn't mean that the business, group or organization asking for volunteerism should expect they'll get everything for free.  I have found this unfortunately and primarily true for industry led and business partnership volunteer efforts.
  • Organizational and (especially) business leaders sometimes automatically expect that the volunteers should be as professional as they are and should devote countless hours toward the volunteer effort; this is simply not true.  Let the volunteer arrange for their time and effort.  In my experiences, this is more often a problem for community organizations holding events requiring hours and hours and volunteer preparation time.
Asking a lot from a volunteer is also asking a lot from their own personal and business relationships.  This a consideration never to be abused.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Determining The Value of Seminars & Presentations

When it comes to presentations and seminars in your market or industry, some are free and some cost the same as a great used car.  Some last all week and others can be given as a one hour lunch and learn. The worst are those that have great marketing to get you there, but offer absolutely nothing of value once you sit down. With so many options, how does anyone determine the value of seminars & presentations?

I've heard this question asked multiple times from individuals, businesses, & organizations, big and small, and there doesn't appear to be one answer.  There are so many types of seminars & presentations and these are further distorted by market and industry.  Through my career presentation experiences (giving and receiving), I have found there are two common denominators in determining the value of presentations & seminars - an enlightening presenter & a willing audience.

An Enlightening Presenter

I have heard many people say that a charismatic speaker can carry an audience no matter what the topic, atmosphere, or setting.  There are many things that make a speaker great, including charisma.  But when it comes to seminars & presentations, I want to be enlightened not charmed.

An enlightening presenter demonstrates as much, if not more, innovative thought as knowledge.  Don't spin and dance around what I already know or can read by myself.  Inspire me.  Most importantly, by the time the seminar or presentation is finished I should want to inspire others.

A Willing Audience

The value of an education is dependent on the work we put into it. I think a lot of adults forget this and look at education as a means to an end.  This is a huge mistake when it concerns the value of a presentation or seminar. The audience has just as much responsibility to enlighten themselves before and after they participate, if not just on a surface level.

Let's take marketing, for example.  If you plan on attending a Marketing seminar that is going to focus on how to integrate Google+ as a social media marketing tool for your business, show up having already registered for and experimented with the platform.  If you don't, this will only cause frustration for you.

Information and knowledge are not synonymous. A great seminar or presentation is lost on an audience unwilling to educate themselves before the event and then use that knowledge to further their education after.
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Learning always comes with a price if not just in the form of your time.  The value of a presentation or seminar depends just as much on your eagerness to be inspired as it for the presenter to be inspiring.  If this type of inspiration is present, then the cost becomes inconsequential - well, almost.

What are some examples of seminars or presentations that have inspired you?