As a leadership coach, I have always wanted to attend Catalyst Conference. Last week, because of my good friend JC, I got to attend the premier leadership conference for christian leaders and business people. Here are a few takeaways from the event:
Leaders are learners
That is so common you might be wanting to roll your eyes. Like, "duh!"
It was incredible to see good, great leaders learning, taking notes and discussing what they learned with their teams during break times. The lines at the bookstore were huge. People kept asking questions about the resources that they were selling.
It proves that if you really care about leading you will do everything you can, invest however much you need to, in order to acquire new skills and achieve growth.
So much to do so little time
Catalyst Conference offers plenty of activities in addition to the tremendous general sessions. There are food vendors, volunteers initiating intriguing conversations with you, exhibitors, games you can play with your team, outdoor interviews and performances, book signings, and a whole lot more!
You must know exactly what you want to achieve with the opportunity of times at Catalyst. Are you going with your leadership team? Maybe you want to use the breaks to reflect on what you're learning over a meal. It is a great time to connect and see where your team stands.
Are you going on you own? Try to network with other leaders who may also be attending on their own. Gather information from them so that you can connect at a later time.
Or maybe you just want to relax. Most leaders are busy people and going to a conference such as Catalyst may be the only time you're out of the office. Enjoy it, soak it all in, so that you're mind is at peace and rested to ensure that you are focused during the sessions.
you have to be okay with failing
Craig Groeschel (Pastor of LifeChurch.tv) and Jaqueline Fuller (Director of Corporate Giving, Google.org) rocked my mind with their talks on how to be successful.
They both lead wonderful, influential, innovative, and foward-thinking organizations. Yet, they attribute so much of their success to their welcoming of failure.
"Failure is not an option. It is a necessity," Groeschel told us. He said that we lack faith when we don't operate because we don't want to fail.
Fuller shared that in the tech world, they accept that failure is a part of the process. They don't wait until something is perfect to launch it. They launch it first, let it fail if it does, and reboot, pivot, and improve what they put out.
Those keys were worth the price of admission to me because I often claim to be a perfectionist. I don't want things to fail. I understand now that if I can't improve if I don't fail. So guys, don't be afraid to fail!
Too many people come to these conferences to as lone wolfs and stay as such. Don't bring your computer with the intent to work during the conference. The occasional email check is ok but I learned that you can gain so much more value by meeting other passionate leaders and sharing insights, takeaways, and ideas. Seeing and hearing how others run their organizations will either inspire you or convict you. You can grow by being active.
Also, engage in worship, prayer, and with the speakers. They are there to provide value. Don't be the kind to only sit in the services while the music is going on. I understood that it helped me focus on God first, and ministry second.
that's it for now
I will definitely be assisting Catalyst Conference next year. I hope that you would make the decision and the investment to go as well. The leader's heart always needs to be inspired. You can learn so much more from those that are ahead of you.