Leadership is Key Through Lousy Economy
April 27, 2009, 10:01 am
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Strong Leadership is key to planning events. Image courtesy of Google. I’m posting in response to a challenge from ready2spark about what leadership means to me during these trying times. Although I’m merely a student who has yet to experience a leadership role in the event-planning industry, I figured I’d give it my best shot and share my thoughts on the subject. 

I think leadership means having the knowledge, skills and attitude to provide direction, cultivate innovation and obtain results- no matter what the circumstances might be. 

It All Depends on How You See the Glass

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” –Albert Einstein

The glass is half full. Image courtesy of SusannahT on Flickr. I’ve always considered myself to be an optimist – and considering the fact I’m about to graduate and enter the worst job market in years, I guess I’d have to be, right? Even when the outlook seems bleak, I tend and try to look for the best in a situation.

I think it’s easy to fall into the habit of dwelling on negativity rather than being positive and responding proactively. Strong leaders should be optimistic and motivate others even when things don’t go as planned.

According to the Tal Ben- Shahar, author of The Pursuit of Perfect:

“The key difference between a perfectionist and an optimalist is that the former essentially rejects reality while the latter accepts it.” 

I think event planners have the mindset they need to plan ahead for everything; unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot anyone could have done to really prepare for this financial crisis. The plunging economy has taken its toll on all aspects of commerce in our country, but I think leaders should accept this economic challenge as an opportunity for creative change in the industry.

Why not look for the upside to the downturn?

After collecting responses from professionals in the industry, the EventManagerBlog identified the following five qualities of successful event managers:

  •  Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Passion
  • Time management

While all of these characteristics are important, it seems like during these trying times, the only way to avoid failure is to be flexible and embrace changes. Planning cost-efficient events without sacrificing quality is essential. Leaders should have the ability to rely on creativity and savvy marketing skills to come up with innovative, new strategies for planning events.

 In addition, good leadership is about motivating others to take action. Leaders have the responsibility of encouraging teams of professionals and volunteers to come up with alternatives to traditional planning methods and still meet the objectives of their company or clients.

 A professor once told me that all the good ideas have been done before, but I don’t know if that is really true in this case. Although our economy is struggling, new technologies are thriving. As social networks like Twitter and Facebook continue to expand, they present endless opportunities for future networking and event-planning purposes. Leaders should see this an exciting time to be optimistic and embrace changes in the industry.