August 7 & 8, 2015 Leadership Conference, St. Clair
Cathy Covington, chair of the 2015 Leadership Conference, with the assistance of Sandy Stegeman, planned an excellent event for the Business Women of Missouri.
Friday evening, our first conference speaker, Mayor Sandy Lucy of Washington, MO, gave a humorous account of her campaign. She said she had two campaign slogans: “Hometown Girl with Hometown Values” and “I Love Lucy.” Mayor Lucy said she did not make campaign promises because politicians often make promises they can’t possibly keep. She talked about her leadership role in the city and how to work with others to accomplish goals.
On Saturday morning, Executive Director of the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce Charlene Sailing welcomed us to the area. She handed out rubber bands for our use throughout the conference, not to shoot at each other, but instead to remind us to “stretch and grow.” She said that we all have challenges, but by stretching ourselves we have opportunity to grow.
Stephanie Nissen, Nissen Media, gave a presentation on “Actionable Ways to Use Facebook.” She suggested using the BWM logo on all the local club Facebook accounts. Stephanie said to limit who has administrative access to the Facebook page and to limit the number of people who will post to the Facebook page. She said to post a minimum of three times a week, but to be consistent in posting. Using images or videos catch the eye of someone scrolling down the screen. Content should be relevant to the interests of the members: Meeting reminders, local news, articles about women in business, BWM events, fundraisers, scholarship information, photos from meetings, questions to start conversations, support fellow BWM clubs, or motivational quotes. Her slides can be found online at www.bit.ly/bwmstclair15.
Stephanie said to encourage members to “like” the page. Just as Stephanie was giving her presentation, Cindy Goalder who manages the Sedalia Facebook page posted that we only needed five more likes to reach 100. Immediately, conference attendees increased the “likes” to 100!
John Edgar’s presentation was on “Leadership Compass Points.” Good leadership begins with knowing what type of leader you are: North (action, get it done!), South (empathetic, people-people), West (must analyze and ask questions, East (visionary, see the big picture, but might miss some of the detail). He used the Beatles to illustrate the differences that make us great, but can also lead to problems if we don’t know how to work with diverse personalities. John Lennon who was a quick worker with a lot of ideas (North), Paul McCartney the perfectionist who could demand 60 takes on a 2 1/2 minute song (West), George Harrison with his solos and introspection (East), and Ringo Starr known as the calming influence (South).
Not only does a leader need to know her compass point, she must also know how to work with partners who have different compass points. Since you can’t change other people, you must learn to adapt. Shared leadership will make everyone on the team successful. Effective shared leadership means that everyone knows where they are going and agree on where they are going. A good leader knows how her partners are going to act, react, and interact. Of course, John believes in making his audience work. He broke us up into small groups where we determined we had 500 years of institutional memory in the room. We went through an exercise to point out the strengths of others in the group, and then each of us identified a quality we personally bring to our organization.
The conference ended with Ellen Hill, Sandy Majchrzak, and crew illustrating what not to do in a meeting with a hilarious skit. They followed the example of the incorrect way with the correct way of conducting an effective meeting stressing the importance of following an agenda and Roberts Rules of Order.
It was a inspirational and rejuvenating conference leaving us confident that we can move our organization forward. ~ Linda Fisher, Sedalia BWM