From time to time I appreciate being tapped to speak or contribute at conferences, companies or in the classroom. If I can share something of value with people on a relevant journey, I always feel good about helping.
My normal gate to saying “yes” always depends on a proposed topic that I’m not only knowledgeable of, but also very passionate about.
For example, I can speak to the proper construction and alignment of a scaled HR function at various growth stages ad-nauseum, but I’d much rather speak to building and supporting a great culture. There is a difference.
Energy and passion are the cornerstones of great talks, panels, speakers, keynotes, etc. You know when the speaker is enjoying it. If I don’t think I’ll enjoy the topic, panel, moderator, etc., I politely decline.
Great talks are also a conversation with the audience vs at the audience. And for god’s sake, if you have slides, one thing per slide please. Many clicks, many pics, never lists – if possible.
That said, here are a few places I’m excited about contributing in the next six-ish weeks:
10/24 – CNBC Disruptor50 Roadshow – Building an Amazon Proof Business Panel w/ Maureen Sullivan, COO of Rent the Runway (website / tix here). I’ll expound on building a moat via content, service, brand(s) and focus.
11/8 – Eisner Amper Philadelphia Business Summit – Panel on Scaling and Innovating in Philadelphia with a few founders / CEOs I know and respect. Justin Goldman of RenoFi and David Gutstadt of Fitler Club. Not sure if this one is open to the public, but you can send an email for a ticket, I think. (website / tix here)
11/15 – PhillyMag’s Thinkfest 2018 – Fireside chat with Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens. Should be an interesting discussion on B2C, scaling and leading the c-store model defensibly into evolving consumer expectations. We’ve never met and I’m also curious how much he knows about my boys at goPuff. #hoagie (website / tix here)
If you do make it out, no clapping. A Ric Flair WOOOOO! of approval is always way better.