What Makes You Better?

Last July was a very busy month with two different community events; the MG100 and the National Speakers Association (NSA). I have written often about the Marshall Goldsmith community, and how inspiring all the members are and what they made me think about. I love that they broaden the way I think and push me to stretch myself.


The MG100 is such an amazing group I thought about letting go of the NSA. Afterall, going to two major events in one month is exhausting.


Spoiler alert, I didn’t.


The NSA is a national community and their conference had well over 1,000 people there. Those large events are draining, yes, even for an extreme extrovert like me!


Pro Tip: When attending those large events, seek to make them less overwhelming by creating smaller groups within the larger one.


NSA is actually really good at that. They have communities within the community. For example, I am part of the CSP (Certified Speaking Professionals) group. It takes a minimum of 10 years to earn the CSP credential, which evaluates your speaking skills in the eyes of your peers and clients. So, it is a pretty small group. They even had preconference events, breakouts, and evening activities for the various smaller constituencies.


For me, the pre-conference events with my community were amazing. I felt like I got all the value I needed from this five-day event before it truly started. In my head, I was thinking this might be the last one I attend since I can just participate in the smaller group events.


But then magic happened.


First was the content. Through the next few days, I dropped into breakout and main stage sessions. I listened to speakers share how they structure their talks, incorporate storytelling, and even systems to make your work more efficient. I listened to four speaking legends talk about how they open and close their talks. They were masterful.


At three o’clock in the morning, I woke up thinking about brand new endings for two of my talks. I recorded them and listened back as soon as I woke up. They were as good as they seemed in the middle of the night.


Second, you never know who you will bump into, meet, or reconnect with in the hallways. That conference is where my partnership on The Connected Leader Club with Lou Diamond was formed.


What I realized after those two epiphanies is that the NSA community makes me better.


Surrounding myself with people who do what I do but do it differently challenges me to think, grow, and adapt. I don’t feel the need to compare myself to other people, (after all that would not be embracing the mindset of abundance). I compare myself to me and I feel I got better by listening, watching, and learning.


What makes you better? Who are you surrounding yourself with to make you better?

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