Oh, how can I possibly contain all the experiences, lessons learned, great people and awesome sessions that made today so wonderful??
The morning began with Joan Burge taking the stage, quietly and earnestly speaking to us about the last three years as business was shaken severely by the economic dust storm. Our comfort, our way of thinking and our lives were deeply shaken by what we saw happening and what we experienced. Even our retirement accounts, our homes, the recession, and unemployment at 9.1%! Not to mention storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, this all together damaged everyone. Everything was shaken in ways we have not experienced before. So why were we here?
Joan said we were here because we need to wake up and get up, use our new energy, enthusiasm and all the strength we’ve gained from these experiences, not to mention the lessons we’ve learned, and move forward. Live life with purpose!
We all have to deliver added value, engage all our senses. Let’s move forward! Add value! Be purposed! And with those words, echoed by several business-dressed “participants” who jumped up from their seats to echo her words, the three took the stage and, revealing that they were actually professional dancers, got the conference off to a rockin’ start with their smooth moves and explosive, dynamic, pulsating dance! They were amazingly good and they had us all totally pumped up!
PURPOSED: Stepping Forward Confidently
When we finally stopped cheering, Joan shared about living life with purpose. She mentioned, “The Principle of the Path” by Andy Stanley, and she said each participant would receive a copy of the book as one of her special gifts to us. She quoted the author, saying, “I always end up where the road I’ve chosen takes me.” Joan told us it’s easier to live with purpose when you know your values and beliefs. When you make choices on where you want to go, rather than just floating along.
Joan said to clear the debris from our paths; this debris can be people, tasks, fear, even our own way of thinking. We all have Goliaths to face, such as returning to school, having to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations with our managers, new projects, fear of networking, or facing our own unproductive thought patterns. Joan said, “Your workplace is your platform. You are ALWAYS on stage!”
She asked us to think about whom or what is our Goliath. But work on one Goliath at a time. Conquer one Goliath by choosing a better path so we end up where our choices take us. Joan challenged us to leave with more than we came here with. She said we should live our lives, our career, and our relationships with purpose.
Joan shared some interesting stats about this year’s conference:
85% of the attendees are first timers.
239 attendees, including some from Canada and Austria.
Domestic USA attendees come from 36 states, and from 116 companies.
29 attendees came from a single company: Sandia Lab in New Mexico.
Joan further stated that success is available to all of us. No one holds you back but you – your thinking. She challenged us, saying: “Take your path forward. Have a target in mind. Get back on your path and move forward. Take a risk!”
After an opening session as powerful as this one, we were ready to do just that!