What do you do after you attend a great event, lecture or conference? My challenge, and yours, is to be sure the events we attend are not just cotton candy – tastes great – but no long-term nutritional value.
Here are four ideas for you to consider…
1. Review your notes. This may sound obvious, but I think it’s a discipline leaders need to cultivate. Of course, this step is predicated on the fact that you took notes. There’s a lot more to say about this – if you’re interested, check out my next post.
2. Identify some things you can share with others. As Ken Blanchard and I outline in our book, Great Leaders GROW, one of the strategies for our personal growth as leaders is to Reach Out to Others. This involves intentionally looking for and creating opportunities to share what you’re learning. For me, I’ve already set a meeting with our events team to share some of the things the TED team did to make this year’s event amazing! I’ll also have a meeting with my leadership team in the next week to share some of the big ideas from the week.
3. Identify a short list of things you are going to do. I’m not going to tell you how to define “short list.” However, for me, it’s not 10 things. My experience is that identifying a list of 3 – 5 short-term action items increases my chances of getting them done. Now, if you’re talking about an event like TED (105 presentations over 5 days,) identifying 3 – 5 action items shouldn’t be that difficult. If I’m processing a single lecture or even a one-day conference, I try to identify at least ONE thing I will do.
4. Identify things that you will consider at a later date. David Allen suggests creating a Someday List. You may not want to go that far. But, whatever you call it, there will probably be things you’ll find in your notes that you are not going to do in the short-term. That doesn’t mean you want to lose those things. For me, this can range from a book I want to add to my reading list or a place I want to visit in the future. Capture these in whatever form works for you.
Events, conferences and lectures can be powerful! They can move, motivate and inspire us. They can even serve as a catalyst to change our lives. But the event is only the beginning - don’t forget, what we do after the event is more important than the event itself! [GLS_Shield]