Doing Good Things in 2020

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What will 2020 look like?

I chose this photo to allow our minds to fill in the blank… Who do you see around your conference table? Who will lead your team?  Take a moment and imagine who is around your table.  

Now, who else should be invited to join you there?  

I also chose this photo because the text, “Do Good Things” spoke to me.  As we look to make an impact in our industry, it must be done with a mindset of doing good work.  We must focus on coming together to share knowledge and experiences for the good of our industry. There is much work to do, but if we work together we can create change!

As I research leadership and workforce development, I am becoming acutely aware when things seem out of place. I feel a responsibility to act when I see things that should be done differently.  As many of you know, the challenge starts with knowing one’s own leadership style (or leading one’s self) and then understanding how best to be a catalyst for change.  As I work on developing my skills, I challenge you to do the same.  I challenge you to try to see things from another’s point of view and try to reach them where they are.

I have an experience to share that shines a light on the change I would like to see in our industry…

Earlier this year, I walked into a leadership group discussing how we could improve our workforce. This sounds like a great situation to walk into, but at a closer look I saw a challenge that needs our attention. The group around the conference table were all older white males dressed in suits. I don’t think this represents our workforce and I think we should work toward creating a group that better represents the workforce. There were no people of color.  No women. No young professionals. No facility workers.  As much as I respect those men in the room and value their insight as successful leaders in industry, I believe we could benefit from additional insight from a diverse group.  Now, building a diverse group of senior leaders is not easy.  We must recruit and explain why it is important to have a diverse and inclusive group.  These aren’t easy conversations.  It takes courage from leadership and the willingness to listen to others who may think differently.  We must also be willing to invite leaders who may not necessarily have the traditional titles associated with the C-suite. Statistics show the C-suite is not diverse, so how can we adapt and solve this problem.

I understand that an initiative to be diverse and inclusive doesn’t happen overnight. I do believe we have a responsibility to point out when we see things need to change, so that we can improve. As I learn how to do this more effectively, I hope this blog will inspire others to look at how they can be change agents as well.  The rest of this story is an example of something that “in my opinion” needs to change. 

As I turn to leave, I noticed there actually was a woman in the room.  She was a member of the event staff at the director level.  She sat on the edge of her chair leading forward to hear…  This image of her sitting in the back corner along the wall, the only one not at the table, is forever burned in my mind… 

In 2020, WE MUST DO BETTER!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to improve diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Comment here or feel free to send me a direct message.

3 Tips for a Productive Tradeshow Booth Interaction

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Participating in pump industry tradeshows presents you with an opportunity to meet individuals with whom you may not have otherwise become connected. Exhibitors can put a great amount of time and effort into preparing for a show, but somehow diminish the amount of leads they can generate while AT the show. I am sharing these tips below to help revitalize unproductive booth behavior so you can improve the quality of your tradeshow interactions.

Have a Plan for Your Time in the Booth.

We have all seen exhibitors sitting in their tradeshow booths looking completely bored out of their minds. If you are exhibiting, have a plan for your time in the booth. Eye contact and a BIG smile is your first connection with a passerby. If you are not trying to make eye contact with the people walking past your booth, you cannot even begin to initiate a conversation. While you are looking at and smiling at EVERY person walking by your booth, SCAN their name tags. Almost everyone that attends tradeshows wears a badge that displays their name, position title, and company they represent. Exhibitors who are scanning the tradeshow participants’ badges while they walk by are more likely to spot the individuals they WANT to speak to; and since those exhibitors are actively making eye contact, they are more likely to get that person into their booth by shouting out a question or offering that individual something from their booth – whether it be a product demonstration, promotional item, or a piece of literature. While exhibitors typically spend most of their time trying to engage people passing by, it is also important that they use social media while at the show to help encourage traffic to their booth.

Use Social Media.

When you have a plan for your time in the booth, determine how many minutes every hour you want to spend using social media while at the show. Read Kerry O’Malley’s article “Using Social Media to Drive Engagement at Trade Shows”. Use social media while exhibiting at the tradeshow, but be careful to not spend every minute of your booth time looking face down at your smart phone. Make sure any reps manning your booth are not frequently zoned into their laptops. That is a great way to let potential business relationships walk right past you. Try to determine the best times during the show to use social media so you can balance your online activity with your face-to-face engagements.

Get That Lead!

Do not be afraid to ask for a person’s business card. If you spent valuable time and energy getting that person into your booth, discussing their business, and learning about areas where both your companies can collaborate, take that last step to generate the lead. Ask if you can send that person your newsletter; or better yet, invite them to sign up for your newsletter right there at your booth. Set up a laptop just for tradeshow participants where they can quickly and easily add themselves to your mailing list. Connect with every new person you meet at the show using LinkedIn. Connecting on LinkedIn gives you the added benefit of not only keeping in contact with that person as they move to different companies, but also increasing your potential to build more bridges with their existing connections. If you ask a person for their business card, and they explain that they are not quite the right person for your company to communicate with, ask them for the name of the person who can help to build the bridge between your companies. The point is to keep the conversation going after the tradeshow has concluded.

These tips may seem simple, but the truth is…sometimes the simplest acts are the hardest to perform! If you have additional tips for improving your time in the booth, I’d love to hear your stories!