Just a week ago I was on a 14 hour flight home from ExecSecLIVE Dubai. Here I am sitting on the couch, trying to be succinct about what I saw, what I learned, who I met, what I ate. Or maybe that isn’t so important.
Okay, maybe it is.
Here’s what I really took away from my experience.
- Be you. Be yourself. Don’t worry about comparisons
- Know your stuff (content)
- Learn from the attendees. At the Q& A, be open to learning from attendee questioning and feedback
- Honor the jet lag. Each of us had jet lag in varying degrees
- Always keep an open mind. I particularly appreciated hearing the message about completely mastering our core job duties before taking on more. So true
- Try new things! I went ice-skating in Dubai. Try new foods. I tried some very interesting stuffed dates and figs
- Be courteous in your host country. (Well, you should be courteous all the time but that’s another blog post.)
- Stop and listen. When meeting other attendees, listen more than you talk
- Our perceptions are not always accurate. I’m honestly not sure what I thought Dubai would be like, but I know that I found it to be a wonderful mix of modern and ancient.
- Our preconceived notions and stereotypes can and should be shoved aside– meet people where they are, as they are
- The weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday.
- It was obvious that the hotel was well-prepared for guests arriving all day and all night from all over the world. Many options were offered to help guests until rooms became available at check-in, including resting in the hotel spa at no charge.
I didn’t take my laptop to this conference. I took my Kindle. I had my phone. My goal was to not take so many pictures that I missed out on experiences. I also wanted to listen to the other presenters. I know if I had my laptop with me, I may not have been as attentive. That’s just the truth.
One last thought. I used to show the speaker picture (see below) to my friends and say, “One of these things is not like the other.” This was my way of saying I felt like I was not like the other speakers and did not belong there.
I will no longer utter those words. After a bit of research last week, I determined that I’ve delivered more than 100 presentations, taught more than 20 classes and have presented at the four major administrative conferences. Of course I belong up on that stage. And, I know now, more than ever, that there is no better way for me to be true to myself than sharing my administrative professional career experiences and life lessons with others. That’s why my motto is #KeepLearningKeepGrowing !
PS. I was so happy to find a Dunkin’ Donuts in Dubai!