Influential Voices: An Aha! Moment from WCQI

I always leave WCQI energized by the people I meet and the new things that I’ve learned. This year, I particularly enjoyed the keynote by Daniel Pink. What he said made a lot of sense. Since I’ve worked largely independently for the past 5+ years, sometimes it has been hard to find the motivation to keep moving forward. However, as my role has shifted more and more towards sustainability, it is much easier to remain motivated. The reality is that not all jobs are full of meaningful tasks all day long. We sometimes need to search for meaning in the things we do. Before my current role, I was directly involved in working with customers in the medical device industry – it is not difficult to find motivation there. I am much more driven in my work when working on tasks connected to a cause, even when the work itself is less challenging.

What do you do to help others find meaning in their work?

Influential Voices: See you at WCQI

I can almost hear the melody in my head… “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.” Literally – my bags are in the cube I’ve borrowed in our Rochester office, as I’m heading out today to take in the member leader events this weekend in Indianapolis in advance of WCQI. Paul Borowski shared Scott Rutherford’s post with his survivor guide for the conference. I’d like to share two more tips.

The first one builds on Scott’s first tip, on sitting with folks you don’t know at lunch: Sit with folks you don’t know ANYWHERE YOU CAN. At this point, this is not easy for me. My last year on the board, I challenged some of my friends to see how many business cards they could collect during the networking time before the banquet on Tuesday night. I won hands down. It was really a great opportunity to get different perspectives – I literally met folks from around the globe. Working the room any time you can is a great way to meet new people and expand your horizons.

Second, while this may seem obvious, don’t go to sessions about stuff you already know. Testimony that this is not obvious to everyone – occasionally I’ve heard comments to the effect of “I went to session ABC, but I didn’t learn anything.” If you go to a session marked beginner that is geared for folks who do what you do, and you’ve been doing it for a long time, it is highly likely that you will already know the content. I was amazed how much I started to learn when I started to go to sessions about the things I don’t know. Go to presentations from other industries and look at how you can apply their lessons learned to your job. Learn about a new technique you’ve never heard of. Challenge yourself to learn about something new – I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you can learn in one conference.

What are your tips for the conference? I look forward to seeing you there!