On Tuesday, I posted about finding ways to develop your leadership daily and weekly. Today, I’m going to look at something that’s a bit of a long range view: conferences.
Now, to be fair, I’m not a well traveled and varied conference goer. What I do have, however, is my own experience.
There is a conference I go to almost every year hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Texas called Texas Conclave. In relative terms, this is a smaller conference (hundreds, not thousands) that features main room sessions, breakouts, and an exhibit hall.
A few years ago I came to the realization my greatest takeaways from Conclave are usually the relationships–connecting with friends who have moved away, catching up with buddies from college, and meeting new guys who are doing things right in their context.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the main room teaching, and walk away with encouragement and inspiration following most of the breakout sessions I attend, but for me, the value of Conclave is in the relationships.
I have also been able to attend Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit a few times in recent years. I go to a satellite site that is attended by a relatively small number, so I get excellent teaching and lots of relational time.
Are you sensing a theme? I’m fueled by relationships. I love hearing what other people are doing and learning from their passion and heart. I enjoy connecting with friends. This, perhaps more than any conference, is worth it’s weight in gold.
So, how do you sharpen your sword? Know yourself. Find what excites you, and embrace it. Provide yourself with opportunities to build on what motivates you, and watch your leadership grow.