Let me begin where I normally end by saying, ‘All my best’. ‘All my best’ is the effort I put into the ‘Panel for Purpose’ event. My goal was simple and focused; To be a part of the social revolution taking place worldwide, and in particular in my backyard, America. There are so many things I could’ve said during the event I had notes and sticky pads all over my desk. What happened though is what should have happened leadership stepped up and chose not to follow a script but to forge a path meant for the masses to follow.
When I started putting together the format for this event, I had a list of almost 20 guest Panelist. When you're formulating a list of people who you not only want to hear from, but you want their impact to resonate and create positive change, it challenges your thinking and stretches your mind. The word accountability went through my mind repeatedly over and over and over. Not just the accountability of the guest speakers, but more importantly my accountability. Watch video here
This event is my baby. I thought of it, birthed and presented it to the universe. Which meant simply, I own 360 degrees of accountability. You might be wondering; What kind of questions I asked myself, as I began putting this together? Was this event going to be one of a kind? And, what impact could a single event truly have? Is this event going to launch a series designed to carry on and further the efforts of the protest & demonstrations taking place across the world?
Every day was a day of reckoning. Some mornings even though I couldn’t wait to get up and launch the day, I dreaded climbing the hill of questions (internal and from others) I had to face to get the answers that would help this event move forward and become reality. Along the way I stepped back and began to streamline my thoughts. It simply came down to, what would mean the most to the people watching the event? I realized from experience nothing else mattered. So, as I began to look at what would resonate and mean the most to the audience, it became easier to decide who to invite. Click here for video
There are multiple reasons why I'm sharing a piece of the journey to creating ‘Panel for Purpose’. First, I need to share as someone who's launched and coordinated many events over the last few decades, this task never gets easier. You can invite the very best people in the chosen area of discussion but know that everyone will not say yes. More importantly, know that it's not always because they're saying no to you. Oftentimes with busy people, it's a matter of scheduling. Sometimes it's important things like family availability, vacation, personal ‘My Time’, health and travel all factor in a keynote speaker decision whether to attend your event. One of my early mentors used to often remind me, the yes’s and no’s in making a business decision aren't personal. They can become personal if we don't prepare ourselves for real world answers. They can also become personal if we’re not properly prepared, with backup keynote speakers. One other thing I want to mention; Never count yourself out as a keynote or backup speaker.
Next, a few of the folks I invited to speak accepted but had different agendas than what I presented to them. Our focus was on the same result, but we weren't traveling in the same direction to achieve success. As a result, we agreed to come together at a future event. One other factor I want to mention that I took for granted but was important to more folks than I thought. The topic of providing positive direction for social change wasn’t a previous area of public discussion for me. Some of the people I shared my vision with reminded me I normally discuss mentorship and business building. This created doubt in some to be an audience member or speak at this event. Video here.
I’m about to bring the first part of my ‘Blog’ journal to an end. As I wrap, I understand if part one takes you by surprise because this is supposed to be about social justice. KC, you're spending time discussing how the event came together, why? The reason I'm investing this time sharing the story of how ‘Panel for Purpose’ was created is because I learned a lot about social justice along the way. In Part 2 I'm going to discuss some lessons I learned which were just as important as the event itself for my growth both personal and public. Often times I've mentored folks and shared the importance of not missing your small steps. It's the small steps on the way to a large victory that are often the most impactful for growth. I look forward to more sharing some of those steps for me in the next segment, all my best.
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