So last night at dinner with some new friends one of the guys at the table asked me what my back ground or training was to be an event planner.
1. Being an event planner is my dream job so the fact that he saw what I do as a dream was a huge compliment.
2. The fact that he thought I had formal training in what I “do” was a bigger compliment-I’m just a girl with a dream who makes observations and acts on them
3. The fact that it was even a question he wanted an answer to and waited to hear the answer was another way of showing me that a year into this gig I’m starting to settle in
Unfreeze, back to story.
My answer? I just observe.
Next question- so like you’ve always been this way?
And, while “always” is a big timeframe. I do think its safe to say I’ve always been a little curious.
It’s why I like to read and watch event shows. It’s why it’s rare that I don’t go to a show or production, store, amusement park, conference or church without taking in how things “work”. And beyond that. I don’t have any formal event planning training other than the bottom shelf of my bookcase where I’ve gathered and collected some great resources and reference books. (Which I’m glad to say are coming in very handy as we plan my sisters wedding!)
I’ve never really thought it weird that I “just put things together”. But then I realized I’ve had some really great mentors who allowed me to flourish. And by flourish I mean make mistakes in a safe environment, dream big and scale back, and take a few risks along the way.
As a manager I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between managing and coaching. I have the potential to be the kind of manager I’ve been able to work for.
My first boss out if college is a perfect example if this. He found the strengths on his team and played into them. I’m super grateful for the opportunities he gave me. He saw my need for the creative and he “let me go”. He let me pioneer a new job in a new territory and allowed me to try some new ideas to see if they would work/help, and they did. He let me make mistakes- like messing up the mail merge on 7500 letters and not realizing it until I was stuffing them in envelopes. But, to this day I am the mail merge queen! He asked me where I wanted to grow and what I wanted to do and then gave me opportunity to do that. Intentional or not, he helped me be successful in his job behind him. He quietly coached from the side and pushed from behind.
So I wonder. Is formal training the key or is street cred the answer?