by Sean Schuette, CMP
I’ve had the chance to have co-workers come along to events that either haven’t been onsite with me or they haven’t had the chance to work onsite with me for some time. Having a fresh perspective on the processes and hearing new ideas is a refreshing new form of cross-training, in a way you are helping each other and actively reaching the end goal of efficiency and high outcome. I have garnered two to three ideas from these interactions that I will be looking forward to trying as I enter the mid-part of this year. A year ago, the old Sean would have let ideas go in one ear and out the other simply because of the simple (and sometimes shortsighted adage) of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” To get too laser-focused on things is to not be flexible, to fixate on one process causes you to not be open to at least trying one new thing, and that’s honestly quite stupid.
The biggest thing I have grown in, and through, is how I approach each day and its to-do list. I realize I have a fairly extensive list, sometimes 10-12 items, of things that need to get done; the priority ladder changes all the time, and depending on my day I may cross almost all or close to none of them off. As unexpected things come my way, the old Sean would have skirted close to slipping into overwhelm as additions and interruptions continue to pile on. I want to get things done quickly and efficiently and in the past I could let my head spin out of control a bit too easy. Taking the simple and time honored approach of tackling one thing at a time really makes for a better means to completing tasks. It also allows me to step away from my desk at the end of the day and realize I have done what I could for that day, and embrace truly that tomorrow is another day.
The greatest growth I’ve had is reminding myself I am not alone in working and walking this world of the meetings industry. I have a wide network of friends and peers that are there to lend a hand whether through a listening ear, a new idea, or to help me in a pinch. I have co-workers that I might see as too busy to bother with my requests for help or a new perspective on things, whereas, they are more often than not, willing to assist. I also have a tool belt of 17 years of experiences, options, processes, and a few hard knocks to pull from. When I want to slip into the old Sean ways of overwhelm and frustration, I just need to pause, reflect, and step back. I challenge all of us to continue to be open and to examine our means of navigating the work of this industry through being humble and open to learning and leading. Everyone benefits when you get ‘better’ and as the journey continues so does our ongoing development.
Sean earned his CMP credential in 2008. In 2006 Sean was named “Planner of the Year” by MPI MN and has been quoted in several local and national level trade publications as an expert in the meetings industry. He is a self-published author as of March 2013 with his book The Journey to Now and maintains a blog. He graduated with a degree in technical theater and a minor in communications from Luther College in 1994.