Thursday, 01 May 2008 18:00

Keynote Speakers with a Message

Written by David Barrett

It’s April 28 and I am sitting in a breakout room at ProjectSummit * BusinessAnalystWorld in Philadelphia, PA – our first event in this beautiful city – and thinking about the keynote we just heard as well as the keynotes at our Toronto event two weeks ago.

There are some very strong messages in all of them.

Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons opened the Toronto event. I would have to say that in the 12 years I have been running these events, he was the most powerful, exciting speaker of all! The messages – there were many – focused on the TEAM. Working with people is the key to our success, he suggested. Treat your ‘peeps’ well (my terminology, not his) and you will be rewarded. Say thank you – say you are sorry, admitting a mistake when necessary. Show some vulnerability. We are all human and the sooner some of us realize this, the better off we will all be. Pinball challenged us all to think about the TEAM around us. We cannot do it alone.

Simon Cotter opened day two in Toronto and talked about humour – making it work for us in the workplace. He was funny himself but his message was clear – humour can work for you. However – his warning was very clear as well – don’t blow it – because a weak attempt at being funny can be very dangerous.

This morning in Philly, Susan Miller opened with a speech called “I’m Working in the Positive Zone”. It was a very lively and amusing look at how to stay positive and work in a zone that encourages a kinder, gentler approach to our projects that will benefit everyone around us.

I liked an acronym she threw out – AIA. All human beings want to feel Appreciated, want to feel Important and want to be Admired. If I look at my fellow workers with this in mind, she suggests, my world will change.

She also threw up the acronym – START.

Smile – first thing every day – before you even get out of bed – like a daily exercise.
Thank someone or something every day for what you have and what you might be able to do out there
Anticipate – expect the best – work your plan – have a plan
Remove any doubts – believe you can do anything
Team – you can’t do it alone – respect the potential contribution of anyone and everyone around you.

Three speakers – three different messages but some great advice for all.

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