When I think about why I do what I do…I occasionally say things like “I like to work with people” or “I want financial freedom,” but quite honestly, my WHY is really about making a difference to people I care about…to make an impact. And because I believe many of you share a variation of this WHY, I thought I’d share with you a book I’ve been reading, “The Impact Equation” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith because it is helping me with a much needed framework for creating something more.
First of all, I feel a connection to meeting professionals and the service and sales professionals who help create amazing experiences and events. Having spent a decade in hotels, 16 years with a convention & visitors bureau and now with a trade association, I still wake up in the morning and am grateful to work in this industry. One of the primary reasons I still love it is because there are so many opportunities for us as individuals, organizations, and industries to make a difference. When that is no longer true, then maybe then I’ll consider retirement!
Sometimes all the ideas and opportunities can make an optimist’s head spin. There are just so many things that need to be fixed, changed or transformed. I am engaged in several industry task forces and committees and there is always an abundance of great ideas. But how do we get from a great idea to action that has impact?
My first take away so far in my reading, is the suggestion to be grounded by four core goals. There is nothing new in these goals for anyone of us, but they are a great reminder to first build a strong foundation for ourselves. They serve as a mindset supporting the shift from thinking like an “employee” to thinking like an “owner” and taking personal responsibility.
1. Embrace the chaos. I get that. I find chaos a great opportunity to learn in and become acutely aware of the opportunity that is present. There is no x-ray vision in resistance. Someone once told me “opportunities never die they just pass on to someone else.” If you’re stuck in how it is always done, then the pass on is inevitable.
2. Romance thirty. This is about paying attention to your 30 best customers, and I’m excited about launching DMAI’s first meeting professionals advisory board for the DMO/CVB industry later this year. I believe we will derive some critical insights into their growing needs.
3. Move. Out of your chair and into the gym or yoga class. I’m sure you have this on your own goal list but Chris and Julian take it one step further. Do we arrange our lives in such a way (with the kids, the travel, the deadlines) that movement is an integral part of our daily rhythm?
4. Stay lean. Not talking about your weight here. With all we have gone through with the economy in recent years, perhaps this isn’t such a stretch goal. Nonetheless, for me it brings a new appreciation for prioritization because chasing all the great ideas may not bring the greatest return (and I know my team will be happy to read this)!
The second take-away for me so far is embracing the cosmic shift that has occurred in the influence-business. Chris and Julien are helping me understand the connection between my goals, my idea, the people I care about, and the ultimate difference I can make. They created a cool equation and I love that it spells CREATE:
Impact = C x (R + E + A + T + E)
C-Contrast. As either meeting professionals or sales professionals, we have always understood the importance of contrast or differentiating ourselves from the competition. How might our positioning be improved if we are practicing our goal of Romancing Thirty, comprised of attendees, exhibitors, meeting professionals, in a consistent and systematic manner?
R-Reach. This is defined by the number of people you are connected to with your message and the more the merrier in the impact business.
E-Exposure. This is defined by the frequency by which you connect with your exhibitors, attendees, or meeting professionals and more is not necessarily better.
A-Articulation. I have often been accused of being too complicated, so I am working on crystallizing my ideas so they are easily understood.
T-Trust. I love Chris and Julien’s book “Trust Agents” because we can’t talk enough about what’s behind why we trust one person or organization over another.
E-Echo. I think of echo as the way in which we connect, find common ground and relate to each other, authentically.
I’m looking forward to diving deeper into “The Impact Equation” and hope that you’ll join me on this journey to create a greater impact for our industry, our organizations, and above all, for those we love.