Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're back...

Back to work today after giving it my all at ASGA's National Student Government Summit this past weekend. It was the largest event we've ever produced-- nearly 600 students and advisors from 100 colleges and universities in 38 states. It might have been the largest Student Government conference ever!

Admittedly, it is a whale of a lot of work to produce an event of this size and complexity. We had eight concurrent workshops going on, nearly 50 roundtables, two keynote speakers, and nearly two dozen talented and knowledgable speakers in attendance. What a great experience for everyone.

After we got done Sunday afternoon, and I had my final consulting appointment, we headed for the airport in plenty of time to catch our 7:35 p.m. flight. But we arrived at the gate to find out that weather had delayed our plane and we wouldn't be leaving until 10:30. I didn't get home until 2:20 a.m. Monday morning, missing the traditional frenzied "greeting" from my wife and children. The other ASGA team members didn't get home until nearly 4:00 a.m.!

Also, on the flight up to DC, I was one of the last to board my flight, based on "zones." There were no overhead bins left, so the flight attendant made me check my bag-- I thought they would bring it to me at the end of the flight, but it turns out they "checked" it like normal baggage. But it wasn't there when we arrived-- this was a mission critical bag and had our nametags, petty cash, reports, and several signs. The bag turned up a day later at the conference hotel about 30 minutes before we started our official registration!

Two problems that happened at the beginning and at the end were really the bulk of the challenges we had at this conference, despite its complexity and size. And both problems were outside of our control.

This shows me that despite all of your pre-planning, all of your work ahead to make sure everything goes well, there are things outside of our control. We can't do anything about it.

We just have to do our best and make the event or project happen despite the problems. How we react to those unexpected problems shows what we really are like as leaders.

I'm glad to be home and am spending time with my wife and children. Soon we'll be getting ready for our Chicago and Dallas conferences.