Leaders are made, not born and I believe we are all destined to lead someone, something, somewhere and it's when things get in the way (fear, lack of confidence, voice of a judgemental teacher) that our leadership is blocked. See how bringing the best of who you to any situation can make all the difference in the world. Bring out the leader in you.
And with words like that, I submitted a proposal to present a 1.5 - 2 hour session at a leadership conference. Thirty-five women stepping into volunteer leadership roles looking for tools, tips and inspiration.
This one had my name on it. Until I blew it.
I talked with the organization's VP on Friday, committed to have a proposal to her on Monday, and sent it off Sunday afternoon. When I had not heard anything after a few days, I followed up and was told that my proposal did not meet the needs of the organization. Knowing I could meet their needs, I asked for the opportunity to speak with her and submit a revised proposal.
What was off in the proposal is not what's important but what sticks with me is.
What sticks with me is that I missed something. I missed something I should not have missed. Was it implied and I did not hear it? Did I make an assumption I should not have made? Was I thinking more about what this presentation would mean to me vs. what it would mean to the VP and her leaders?
What sticks with me is relationship. She heard something about me, saw something in my profile, whatever . . . and decided I was someone who could help her develop her leaders. We spoke. There was relationship. The absence of feedback on my proposal, the short response back and not responding to my request for a follow-up call - does this mean I broke the relationship? Is it not there anymore? Or did it exist only in my mind?
Women, leadership, bringing out potential in others - if there ever was a session with my name on it, this was it. Heck, I even ditched my ultrasecure safety net of an carefully crafted outline and mind-mapped the whole session with creative, colorful Sharpie pens.
Add in the Pottery Barn Teen bean bag chair I sat in doing so and, well, I was having fun!
I could go round and round on this for days but I won't do that.
Here's what I am going to do. I am going to hit "schedule" on this post, chalk this up to what will be, will be and take the lessons learned into my next interaction.
I am still a little bit bummed though.