Well, let me be clear: This was my final Leadership Summit as the chair of the event. I will definitely be returning as an attendee.
Two years ago, David Hussman asked me if I wanted to chair this event (he was the current chair) for the next four leadership summits. As I had already been an attendee and speaker for this event, I was honored and excited.
Chairing the Leadership Summit is very different than chairing the Agile Alliance Agile2017 conference. For this event, I’m a team of one. There is no submission process. I select the speakers. I decide the format. I determine and communicate the deadlines. I facilitate the summit.
What I loved the most:
- Purpose: Leaders often go to a conference focused on what is needed for their customers, for the organization and/or for their team. There needs to be a space for leaders to focus on their growth to truly achieve those aspects.
- New Speakers: My target was to have two coach/trainers and two practictioners as speakers each time. One of the two practitioners was often brand new to speaking – to sharing their journey. I absolutely loved being able to pay it forward by providing an opportunity to grow themselves.
- Experienced Speakers: I also was able to work with people that I greatly admire and respect. I’m able to chair the summit and learn from people that constantly challenge me to grow. I think back to the people that spoke over the past two years and I smile.
- Techwell organizers: Seriously, they are the nicest and most helpful team of people. I absolutely look forward to seeing Allison, Lee, Paige, etc. I’m very grateful for all of their support.
- Duration: Being able to chair four summits in a row was refreshing. I enjoyed being able to learn and tweak from one event to the next event.
What I would have done differently:
- Paired Speakers: I did this a couple of times but I wish I would have done more. Had an experienced speaker pair with a new speaker to deliver. This could have scaled even more the aspects that I loved the most.
- USBs: Every summit, we provide a USB drive with all of the session slides loaded. In order to not have speakers submit their materials 6 weeks before the event, I (with wonderful helpers over the years) would then spend over an hour loading ~150 USB drives the day before the event. I didn’t really explore if there is something more valuable and less time consuming.
- Transparency: In writing this post, I realized I have not shared the behind on the scenes for this role. Yet, I did for the Agile20xx conference roles. I am not sure why but I wish I had been sharing.
Dave, as always, I am forever grateful for the support and opportunities to kick ass.
On Friday, I passed the baton to Bob Galen. I know he will take the Leadership Summit even further. Personally, I can’t wait to attend.
To all the attendees and speakers over the past two years, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.