The following is a guest post from Holly Duckworth, CMP, CAE, CEO of Leadership Solutions International in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
It's not what you know; it's who you know.Â From that vantage point, I take every opportunity to serve fellow members of ASAE, from mentoring CAE students to mentoring first timers here at the annual.Â At ASAE12 I offered to be mentor to a first-time conference attendee. I was matched with not one but two amazing people: Graham Catt, CEO of the Australian Veterinary Association (pictured above right), and Russell Autry, president of the International Society of Community Engagement Professionals (left).
Now, as a result, I have two new colleagues. The fun thing is in such a sort time they have taught me as much as I've shared with them.Â From Graham I learned about the international perspective on the American political system. He says, "I'm not sure I'm smarter as a result of the opening session, and I experienced an interesting dialogue.Â We have universal health care and it works for us."
Talking with Russell, we have already connected on so many places in which we are able to support each other. I laughed also as he said, "I Googled you. Do you know who you are in this industry?"
So, what did I teach them? They want to know:
- Who are the people to meet?
- How do I not waste my time?
- What should I see and not see?
- How do I navigate the tradeshow?
As I reflect back on my few moments with these professionals, I realize both of them have been in the associations industry many more years than I have. Yet we have both been able to teach each other.Â Through my two new connections I have been educated, inspired, and connected to even more professionals in our community here and around the globe. So, next time you are asked to mentor, don't do it just for them; do it for you and create a circle of mentorship and memories that will last for years to come.