I am super excited, because this week (Wednesday, April 27-Friday April 29th) I’m speaking at the Rethink Leadership Conference in Atlanta and hanging out at the Orange Conference next door. And I’m not alone. Over 8,000 leaders will be gathering for these events.
One of my very favourite things to do in this life is connect with other leaders who are trying to make a difference in the local church, whether as staff or volunteers.
So whether you are there in person or watching online, here are 7 tips.
1. Don’t Do This Alone
Many senior leaders are loners by nature. To be honest, I can get in that space.
I like to talk to the people I already know. I avoid meeting new people if I can. But it’s a terrible mistake.
Getting to know other leaders, sharing a meal, sitting together at sessions and hanging out during breaks is one of the best ways to sharpen your skills as a leader, grow a network of support, ideas and encouragement and honestly just make friends. Remember friends senior leaders?
I have met so many people at conferences who have become life long friends and ministry collaborators. Don’t miss the gift of the community.
Remember: Solitude is a gift from God. Isolation is a tool of the enemy.
So make some connections. Even if you’re at home, watch and engage with a friend.
2. Follow the Hashtags
One of the easiest ways to track everything that’s happening is through hashtags—whether you’re at the conference or at home. Most of my personal updates at the conference will be via twitter or Instagram, but I will make occasional ventures onto Facebook (where hashtags work less well).
The hashtags are perfect for those who don’t attend, but will optimize the experience for those who do.
#RL16 #OC16 are the official conference hashtags.
#OC16Live is the official hashtag of the live stream for Orange Conference (Rethink Leadership, where I’ll be speaking all week, isn’t live streamed).
3. Live Tweeting
I’ll be live tweeting much of the conference, and my sessions will also be live tweeted (thanks to my team). That will make it easy to follow along.
Just follow me on Twitter to catch the latest.
4. Follow the Live Blog
My friend Brian Dodd will be live blogging the entire Rethink Leadership event.
If you want to follow other bloggers blogging the Orange Conference, here’s a complete list.
5. Live Stream!
So you can’t make it? Orange Conference has a live stream. You might not get every session, but you’ll get a ton, I mean a ton, of the experience.
I’ll be doing a live interview on the stream Friday at 1:45 p.m. with Jared Herd and Elle Campbell. That is always so much fun. (We’ll periscope that interview too…just for fun.)
Follow the live stream at www.theorangeconference.com.
Okay..now a bonus tip. Ever wonder how to synthesize the best learnings you’re trying to capture?
My hands-down top choice for note taking is Evernote. I know almost everyone knows about Evernote, but if you’re not using it at conferences, you’re missing out. Evernote’s free primer on how to use it will get you started if you’re new to it.
I love that I can do a search through the last few years of Orange Conference and this year’s new Rethink Leadership event notes simply by searching “Orange Conference”, “Rethink Leadership” or the name of the speaker, or a key word, or anything I might half remember. It always calls it up. And you can be far more organized for that. And it syncs seamlessly across all devices. Brilliant.
7. Let Me Help Your Team
It’s one thing to get a lot of insights. It’s another to take them home.
The challenge of leadership is that you have to persuade other people to embrace the break through you want to see.
I address seven key issues facing churches today in my book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow.
This week at the conferences, I’m releasing Lasting Impact Team Edition to help you have even better conversations with your board, staff, elders, volunteers and teams.
What’s the Team Edition?
It’s eight videos I shot outlining the key ideas in the book, designed for you as a leader to play for your team before you dive into the conversations in the book (conversations like “Why Are We Not Growing Faster?” and “Why Are We Not Attracting High Capacity Volunteers?” among others).
It’s like having me come to your church, frame the issue for your team and then give you the tools to have the conversations you need to break through.
All you need to do to start your meeting is press play, and after you can dive right into the conversation (the discussion guide is in the book). I even included a bonus video on how to have pivotal conversations as a team without things going sideways.
If you get the Team Edition now, you’ll also get access to an exclusive private Facebook group.
Imagine going through the conversations not just with your team, but with advice and support from other church leaders navigating the same issues you are. Plus, I’ll be jumping in on the conversation within the Facebook group from time to time. (If you purchase the Team Edition by May 31st, you’ll receive an email inviting you to the group. We’re sending out our first batch of invitations on May 13.) But hurry, the Facebook group option is time limited.
So that’s it. Hope all of this helps you lead like never before.
If you’re in Atlanta this week, I can’t wait to say hi. If you’re watching online, make sure you shout out on social media.
It’s going to be an incredible week!