Ever heard that question: if you could have dinner with one person from history who would it be?
I know it's trite, but I love that question.
I like dreaming about what it would be like to sit across from Martin Luther King, Jr. Or to watch Abraham Lincoln and Mother Theresa laugh together over an inside joke while Gandhi passes the bread to Winston Churchill. I mean sure: I've read what they wrote. But there's just something about being in the presence of people that is either more powerful or at least a powerful supplement to reading about their lives. There's something about seeing the energy in their eyes and hearing their own words in their own voices that makes a moment seem more real. It's why I've seen Flight of the Chonchords twice. It's why I'd see U2 even though I know their stuff by heart.
Presence is poweful.
That's why I unashamedly love conferences. I like seeing people I've read share what they're recently learning. Even more fun is going with some friends and then discussing/arguing/learning from and with each other between sessions. The shared experience is gold. In the past 6 months I've been to 4 conferences-- sometimes as an attendant, or volunteer or speaker. They are a never-again-to-be-repeated gathering of fascinating people who have conversations with me that affirm, challenge and tweak the next move in my leadership life.
That's why I'm stoked about the i2i one-day conference with Scott Belsky. I got to see Scott speak in New York a few months ago and it was one of the most insightful and forward thinking discussions on creativity I've heard in a while. If you consider yourself a creative who struggles to get ideas out of your mind and into your portfolio then Scott is your patron saint. If you're like me and lead teams that have to execute to survive but don't want to turn into corporate kill-joys in the process then Scott is your guru.
And on March 30 you get to spend a whole day with him and a group of people all trying to figure out how productivity and creativity can intersect in our personal lives and on teams.
The topics alone make me kind of giddy: Organization & Productivity, Leveraging Community & Leadership in the Creative World, Q & A Session on Idea-Making.
The day is on the tail end of The !deation Conference. But more on that later. In the meantime, for more information regarding both conferences click here.
I'm sure Charles Lee-- the founder of both conferences-- and Scott Belsky would be a little squeamish to being compared to the people of history that I'd love to have dinner with. But I know they'd both agree that being intentional about surrounding yourselves with people who are further down the road than you is indispensable to becoming who you long to be, and these two events are a good start in that direction.
Posted on Fri, March 18, 2011