Doh! Lessons Learned

learn-2004900_1920I put myself into a situation that I thought I had a good handle on. But then on the day of, I realized that I was demonstrating some Excel features using 2013, instead of 2010, which was the version I had been practicing with and the version I used for the screen shots that made up the webinar handouts.

Doh!

Not to self: Pay attention to the laptop you are using on the day of the webinar.

In my day job, I work in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook . . . 2010. So I am comfortable moving around the 2010 version.

I’m not as up to date as I would like to be on the changes made in the menu items from Excel 2010 to Excel 2013.

So there I am, presenting a webinar—a live presentation—and I don’t know where to find some of the features I’m talking about. Because the menu has changed a bit from 2010 to 2013.

Doh!

What did I do? I had to admit to the attendees that I just realized the laptop I would be using for the webinar presentation was not the same version I practiced with. (Otherwise, I think I would have looked like an idiot, spending time trying to find where the Excel feature was that I was looking for.) So I ‘fessed up.

Shame on me for not paying attention to the equipment I would be using for my webinar.

Note to self: Pay more attention to all of the details next time!  You don’t have an admin assistant to help you, so it’s up to you to make sure you have the right equipment, especially if you are presenting a webinar to others.

Lesson learned. You can bet I won’t let that happen again.

On another note—to admins in particular: You are a wealth of knowledge and you should be sharing the knowledge you have with others (whether it’s your admin colleagues or anyone else in your firm). Help them grow their skills and knowledge. Encourage them to share their knowledge, in whatever format is comfortable for them (written, in-person 1:1 or in a group session, webinar; whatever). When the webinar host asked me if I had any last words, I talked about how I was a bit nervous knowing that I had to do a webinar presentation (it was my second time webinar-ing for the organization, but the first time doing one where they’d see my live keystrokes while in Excel), but I forged ahead and agreed to do it. (You could say I crossed that off on my bucket list—presenting another webinar—if I could become as great a webinar presenter as Melissa Esquibel, how sweet would that be?!) So . . . step out of your comfort zone and make an effort to grow your presentation skills, and share your knowledge at the same time. Once it’s over, you’ll be glad you did it.

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Feedback Guts, Part 4

BlueCircleSuccessFingerPoint

Sharing the last survey question:

With respect to the chapter president’s responsibilities, what do you think the president does well?

Survey says:

  • She does very well at making decisions and directing the Board.
  • Judy is a great leader, she encourages us to think beyond the next quarter and see a bigger picture. She is concerned about doing the right things in the right way to maintain the chapter’s credibility, viability, and value for its members.
  • Judy is very organized and that is evident in everything she does. She is always prepared for meetings and plans far in advance for situations requiring participation from members or BoD members. Judy is very personable and welcoming. She’s encouraged the expansion of our educational delivery methods, which has been well received by members. Great job! I’d also like her to know that I’ve seen her confidence and abilities grow this year when she is speaking in front of the audience at our programs. Great job!
  • Extremely motivated. Sees the big picture. Not afraid to try new things.
  • Seems to have a good handle on overall Chapter and National goings-on, knows when things are due, follows bylaws, personally invested in the success of the Chapter and organization as a whole, inspires others to do their best.

Hmmm, concerned about doing the right things . . . very organized . . . confidence and abilities . . . sees the big picture . . . personally invested . . . inspires others.

Why thank you, board of directors!

And now I ask myself: Was it worth it, having your team give you feedback?

And survey says:

Yes, definitely! (Even though it was a little scary, waiting for the results. And even though I promised to share them on my blog, before I saw the results.) Although, in hindsight, I should not have waited until the fourth quarter of my leadership to ask for feedback; by the time you read this, I will only have one more board meeting to lead as the chapter president.

If I get any clarification/examples from the constructive criticism I received, I will put that to use on my next adventure for the chapter (guess who is running for vice president, in charge of the education committee?).

Feedback Guts, Part 3

Personal Growth

I’ve been sharing the results of my President’s Performance Feedback (two previous posts: Part 1 here,  and Part 2 here).

Here’s another survey question in which I wasn’t sure how the results would turn out:  If you could offer constructive criticism to the chapter president, what would you say?

If I had to guess, I would say they would say I pushed too hard. I would think they might say that I should ask for the entire board’s opinion more often, instead of just asking a few team members who were responsible for the particular committee/task work. That’s what I would think.

So I was a little surprised by some of the results of that question . . . survey said:

  • I am in awe of Judy’s drive and vision. However, I think sometimes she approaches our small chapter as if it were a huge company or project. There has been too much paperwork required of the board this year. And some of the terminology she uses feels overly-corporate and unappealing. Tendency towards micro-managing. But I wish our chapter had 10 more Judys!
  • Loosen the reigns a bit! We are a volunteer organization. People are giving up their personal time to participate in programs and be on the BoD. That needs to be remembered when it comes to time commitments and reporting.
  • I’m impressed with what she’s accomplished but I don’t think it’s sustainable.

I’m not sure what “I don’t think it’s sustainable” means. Does that mean the changes we’ve made? Until I know what the respondent meant by that, I won’t be able to do anything with that response or make any changes if changes are needed.

On the “Loosen the reigns a bit!” and “too much paperwork” responses: Yes, I did ask the board to send me progress reports before each board meeting, and I asked them to report on three things: what did you accomplish, what are you working on, and are there any red flags. I wasn’t on the board the previous year, so I don’t know if this is what they are referring to. Having the board send me progress reports helped me formulate the questions I felt I needed to ask in order to help make sure the committee chairs’ work kept going, to make sure nothing fell through the cracks by asking those progress report questions. Should I stop requesting those progress reports just because two people commented about too much reporting/paperwork? I’d hate to have to do that, because those reports are a management tool for me.

And, it would be helpful if I had some examples of the “overly-corporate and unappealing terminology.” So some of the words I used bothered someone? I don’t recall purposely trying to use certain words. And right now, I can’t recall any words that I typically wouldn’t use or don’t use in other situations. Yes, it would definitely help if I knew what words they speak of, because then I would get a sense of how what I’m saying—the words I’m using—might be a turn off for some people.

Micro-managing? Me? Maybe. Okay, yeah, I guess I could see that. But as I said before, is it micro-managing, or is it just paying attention to details, staying on top of things so things get done, no one drops the ball? I’m not hovering (how can you hover when you don’t even work in the same office?). I’m not checking in with them on a daily basis (sometimes I don’t check in until our next monthly board meeting). Micro-managing examples would be most appreciated here, so I can see what I’m doing to make them think I’m micro-managing.

Yes, there’s always room for personal growth.