Last week, I had the privilege of being in California at Catalyst West (see catalystleader.com for more info). It was a terrific conference with loads of great content and unforgettable moments of inspiration. Here are the three main things I walked away with:
1. When something doesn’t work, make the most of it. In one of the early sessions, Bob Goff’s microphone wasn’t working. I hate when that happens and know the feeling all too well. Bob, like only he can, turned the moment into something extraordinary. He used it as an opportunity to celebrate the backstage manager who had to come out to fix the problem. Though I’ve seen great recoveries before, I’ll never forget the way Bob took control of a mishap and made something special out of it.
2. Patrick Lencioni did something I’d never seen before. Instead of delivering his talk on courage (which, by the way, was fantastic), he invited someone from the crowd to interview him on the topic. He had already written the questions for the person to ask. It was a clever, engaging way to present information.
3. There were many powerful talks presented by superb teachers, but I learned the most from a lunch I had. In a moment when my self-control was apparently absent, I made an ill-timed reference to a rap lyric. The lyric wasn’t inappropriate, but the timing on my part was just plain dumb. A very kind gentleman overheard what I said and tweeted @CatalystLeader how put off he was by my comment. I saw it, replied immediately, set up lunch with the man, and had a good time learning about his story. He was so kind to forgive me and help me see how thoughtless my comment was. I’ll never forget that.