Seminars – Workshops – Training Events – Gatherings – Summits…they go by different names but they all feel relatively the same. My experience is that they do a great job of pumping us up, blowing tons of sunshine, convincing us that we CAN do ‘it’, and bringing us right to the edge of the cliff. We join in the group chant, “I am a success” and we take one giant leap of faith – but just before we step off – the gurus walk away. They have our money, they have our faith, they taught us ‘stuff’ and their job is done. Now we get to fly solo. We are successfully empowered but not adequately equipped.
As a business leader within my company I try real hard to make sure my team not only has the TOOLS to do their jobs, but they have been properly TRAINED and they know how to USE them. You don’t give people tools, show them how YOU succeeded with them, and then walk away. They will only hurt themselves. To be an effective leader, a motivating coach, a trusted mentor – you MUST be willing to jump back down into the trenches with those who follow you. You need to not only empower your students but it is your job, your role, your calling…to make sure they are equipped to do the work. If they are failing, the role of a good coach will be to help them determine WHY they are failing and to instruct them as to the uses of the tools they have been given. A coach doesn’t walk out at half-time and leave the results up to the players.
EQUIP can be defined as “to supply with necessities such as tools or provisions”. The definition of EMPOWER is “to invest with power; to supply with an ability; to delegate power and to authorize; to enable or permit”. A mentor’s role is to equip and empower BUT here’s the catch:
- You can’t teach talent
- You can’t teach insight
- You can’t teach common sense
- You can’t teach devotion and dedication
If you have experienced a high from a motivational seminar (and likely lost a lot of money buying in to their processes) you are not alone. Here are the top 4 things you should ALWAYS keep in mind when attending a seminar – or a workshop – or a summit – or whatever they try to name their marketing event.
- They are selling something. They aren’t doing this for the fun of it, although they believe in what they are selling, the bottom line is that they are selling something. Do not be sold!
- Take the good and take the bad. Use your brain and listen carefully, look around you, be a sponge – soak it all in – ignore what you feel is garbage, and take away what you feel will help YOU in your success.
- Add people to your sphere of influence
- Put your wallet in a secure location
I’ll leave you with this advice from my father. He told me to never sign and pay until you’ve read the contract. If anyone pushes you to pay and sign before you have had time to consider all your options and the ramifications of your choices – they are simply trying to sell you something. Money spent should be an investment so lock up your wallet, don’t whip out a credit card. If the offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is.