Last week my wife, a couple of friends, and I headed down to Atlanta, GA for the Catalyst Conference. This year was the first year we attended the event and it is an event that we will try to attend yearly or bi-yearly.
The theme of the conference was “Be Present”. Catalyst had volunteers dressed up as bees and presents for a cute play on the theme. They also were very generous. It seemed as if every where you went someone was handing you a free book, shirt, or other item.
The conference opened with Andy Stanley. His talk set the tone for the rest of Catalyst. He spoke on becoming success and what that entails. One of the points that hit home with me was “You will become less accessible the more successful you are and that is not a bad thing”. So often in business and ministry we feel that we have to be everywhere and everything to everyone. That’s not the case and you will burn out if you try to do this.
Another speaker that spoke to me was Jim Collins. He made a great point about figuring out who should and should not be on your bus. This means that some people are not meant to be on your team and you should not take everyone who volunteers. A great example was about a school teacher. Imagine there’s a first grade teacher who loves to teach, but she does a horrible job teaching. Her students are failing, there’s chaos in the classroom. Should the principal of the school offer her grace or should he let her go? In this example he said the teacher should be let go for the good of the students. It’s a great way to look at things and makes you realize letting someone go isn’t being cruel, it’s being merciful to those under that person.
The final speaker I would like to talk about is Dave Ramsey. Previous to the conference, I’ve only heard Dave speak about finances. On this day, he talked about leadership and did an awesome job. My key take aways from Dave were “slow and steady win the race” and “help people with problems, don’t have them on your team”. In life, we try to move faster and faster and get more things done. We need to slow down and take it easy. Focus on what you are doing and do an excellent job. We also want to help everyone and feel that having them on our team is a great thing to do. This is not the case. With all their problems, they’re not able to focus on their job. This brings down productivity and can cause stress in your business or ministry.
There were many other speakers that were great too. While at the event, we purchased the experience kit which includes downloads of all the speakers. I’m looking forward to being able to download and listen to the talks once again. There was a lot of information given at the conference and I’m sure re-listening to the talks will help me in developing my leadership abilities.
If you have the chance to go to a Catalyst event, I cannot recommend it enough. You’ll get goodies handed to you, lots of great knowledge passed onto you, and a great time. No matter where you live, there should be a Catalyst event near you.
Question: Did you attend Catalyst this year? If so, who impacted you the most?