Guest Opinion: Picking up where IWLC leaves off

Coming off of an energetic IWLC Central Iowa Conference just a few weeks ago lets you think, “What next?”  Michelle DeClerck

As an organizer of events and placing speakers at big name events, typically there’s a lull that follows after any size event. It’s hard to keep the buzz going with the attendee long after the event. As one of the speakers stated, if it were easy to stay motivated, you’d just hear one motivational speaker and you wouldn’t need to hear another again.

That’s the part about motivation, you need to hear it over and over again, each time serving as a reminder to help keep you from letting self-sabotaging thoughts creep in about your dreams and your goals, to help re-energize yourself, to inspire you to make a difference. That’s why repeatedly attending events, like the ones IWLC puts on, is beneficial for you and your organization.

Hearing the motivational speaker is only one part of it. To truly get the benefits, within a few days of being back, zone in on a few ideas that resonated with you during the event and post those on your desk or, if appropriate, on your task list. Based on our experience, it’s not always what the speaker said, but rather what creative idea you came up with while you were in the moment. Those can be even more impactful and propel you forward, resulting in an even greater event experience.

Both Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, and author Anne-Marie Slaughter shared a few thoughts that I wrote down that I’ll refer back to yet again this week, and they also focused on “Support other women — pay it forward by helping women.” This advice reminds me to say yes to that extra meeting request to help provide mentoring advice, even when I think I’m at my maximum capacity for my week. I always gain just as much, especially when meeting with millennials.

Kim Martin, chief brand officer for Meredith Corp., went in depth on how focusing on what matters most to millennials is detrimental to business success. The more we are open to change, the more we realize that having these high performers in our work groups gets us even better results, just like having more women on boards makes those companies more profitable. Martin shared that this group is eager for development and growth opportunities and wants to be involved in meaningful work, and she reminds us that they often can find a better, more efficient way of doing something if we’ll allow them to.

The next time you have an opportunity to learn from an industry or motivational speaker, remember that there’s more to it than just sitting in the audience. It comes down to keeping the experience momentum. By bringing back just one or two ideas, you make it worth hearing another motivational speaker.

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