I’m about to attend the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast, presented by John C. Maxwell and Giant Impact. The event is only one day, but the great lineup of speakers and topics has me anxiously awaiting it. As I reflected on this, a thought occurred to me: most of these great speakers have published plenty of material and lessons, so why do I find it important to attend leadership conferences at all? I came up with the following short list. Perhaps it will help you convince your boss the next time this event, or a similar opportunity comes around.
1. Education: The obvious. As a leader in the organization, you must continuously develop your leadership skills. Conferences are among the best ways to do this.
2. Networking: Whether you’re an extrovert or not, be sure to reach out to co-participants. Those in attendance are like-minded, particularly if the conference focuses on a particular theme, like Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership conference and you may find them excellent references for bouncing new ideas.
3. Focus: You could spend weeks, even months reading books in small snippets, but you can’t always focus consistently and key topics are often lost in translation. In contrast, by attending all day events and longer conferences, you are able to absorb the information continuously. From my experience, this results in greater retention of the information.
4. Setting an Example: As a leader in your organization, you need to set the example by honing your skills and leadership capabilities. As your team and peers see you make the commitment to be out of the office for these experiences, you lead by example and set expectations for them to follow.
So the next time you contemplate whether you can afford the time away from the office, consider these benefits and more, then commit yourself to, as the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast says, “Be The One”. If you seek suggestions for leadership events, definitely check out the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast and Greenleaf’s Annual conference.
Question: Why do you attend leadership development events?