You Get Out Of It What You Put Into It

Missy Johnson, CMPPost written by Missy Johnson, Principal, MJMeetings, LLC | Meetings Consultant | Gourmet Food & Wine Enthusiast | Sports Fan

I’ve been a member of a professional association for 15 years and I believe the age-old saying is true:

“You get out of it what you put into it.”

Membership in the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has been extremely rewarding and it’s because I’ve always been highly involved at both the national level and locally with the Heartland Chapter.

As a Past-President of our chapter, I was recently asked by the current President and President-Elect to facilitate a strategic planning session for the current leadership group. I was humbled and nervous at first, but after giving it more thought I realized that I would be getting a lot more than I would be giving. Here’s why:

Rookies Need Vets

PCMA Heartland Chapter“Rookie” leaders look to “Veterans” to gain insight and grow more quickly.

In sharing my experiences, I’m able to help the new crop of leaders walk a little taller and feel more confident about the direction they’re heading.

At the same time, I’m getting more out of my membership by helping in a way that is unique to me and my past experience.

Strategy Requires History

It occurred to me that a strategic planning session wouldn’t be as productive without first giving a bit of a history lesson to everyone to help set the stage. Our chapter is only 21 years old, but many of the current leaders have only been involved for a few years.

I realized it was critical to walk them back through the history of what makes our chapter great – the active members, the organizations who sponsor us, and the unique culture that has developed over time.

Vision Doesn’t Occur In A Vacuum

From 30,000 feet you can see a lot more than when you’re standing on the ground. So with a good shared understanding of the history of past successes and failures, rookies and vets came together to create a vision for the future that was solid as a rock. It was clear to all of us: We will create a stronger future by working together as a team.

My experience that day as the strategic planning session facilitator was rewarding in many ways. Most of all, I was able to connect on a unique and more personal level with our current leadership group. The best ideas are formed when leaders come together, share experiences and learn from each other.

And in the end, it was a great reminder that…You get out of it what you put into it.


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