Leadership Conferences shouldn’t be for Leaders
Today I spent a few hours as a photographer for a Leadership conference. I have attended several leadership conferences in my time having written articles on leadership, tips on leadership, and a popular article called, “The 7 Big Differences between a Leader and a Manager“. The speakers were very engaging and had great presentation. I wish I was there for the conference, but I was there to photograph the conference.
But that didn’t stop me from listening and learning as much as possible on Leadership and most importantly: High Performers, Middle Performers, and Low Performers. It definitely did not take a psychology degree to figure this out.
Okay, the conference had several directors and administrative staff: CFO, CEO, CIO, etc. Each, ‘leaders’ in their own respective department. I have no idea whether they were good leaders or just ineffective staff with a big title behind their name. The assumption, based on presumed responsibility, is that the attendees are leaders. And that being said – maybe they should have stayed in the office.
Here’s my point. The discussion was all about High Performers, Middle Performers, and Low Performers. How to identify each. And how to develop each to be consistent with a company’s mission statement.
The question was what each wanted from leadership? Guidance, nurturing and mentoring, or to be left alone. But here’s the deal – why should Leaders go to this conference to learn how to identify non-leaders? You know who should have been attending this conference? Every staff member below administrative staff – that is, the manager, the subordinate of the manager, the secretary, receptionist, the mail room boy and other, for the lack of a better word, lower level staff.
Why? Because it would do the company more good to enhance the education of ‘non titled leaders’ instead of annually impressing upon the already high paying staff what they already know and what they already should be doing. Now its time to teach how to lead from the middle as John Maxwell says in “The 360 Degree Leader“.
I came out of that ‘photography gig’ with the feeling like: I could have taught this class. Not to be cocky or anything, but if these ‘big wigs’ had to go to this conference to learn about this at this stage in their career, well, I’m not impressed with what they already know. Again, my point is: teach leadership to those who need to learn it more than others – the under performers who might need motivation to enhance their careers because maybe they don’t know their career can be enhanced.
Organization should spend more time and money educating those who need education vs those who are already educated!
And that’s why I think, at least in this instance, Leadership Conferences shouldn’t be for leaders!
Related Leadership Articles: “Leadership Strategies – How to achieve goals”