John Maxwell, the famous leadership author and teacher, tells us there are three things we must do to grow as leaders:
1. Surround yourself with the right people.
2. Consume the right media.
3. Attend the right conferences.
When you attend conferences, to make the most of them, follow these five guidelines.
1. Be child-like. This doesn't mean throw a tantrum if the room is too cold. It means ask questions. Lots of them. Don't let your pride or reputation or position keep you from raising that hand and getting clarity, more information or better information.
2. Take organized notes. If you aren't writing, you aren't learning. But don't just write to recall. Write with organization. Make notes of what needs to be delegated, acted upon immediately, filed for later, etc. This will help your post-conference actions take flight quicker and more efficiently.
3. Offer solutions, advice and suggestions in a CVS format. Concrete. Visual. Simple. It is important to not only add value where you can, but to be clear with your thoughts.
4. Maximize gap time. The official sessions and breakouts will be valuable learning environments, but the real magical sharing times happen early in the morning, at meals and during breaks. Make the most of them.
5. Seek out answers. If possible, go to conference with specific questions and challenges you are looking to resolve. Then hunt to find experts, speakers, exhibitors and attendees who might just have the answers you are looking for.
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