Day 2 has ended here at Inbound with an amazing finish…but I’ll get back to that finish a little later in my post. Like yesterday there were some amazing experiences and surprising lessons, so let’s get right to it.
Lesson One: Arianna Huffington is AMAZING. Let me just state that again, clearly just in case you didn’t quite get it. This woman is AMAZING. Strong, powerful, funny, candid, direct. She nailed today’s keynote. As in the HIGHPOINT of this conference for me. Why?
Her speech was about leadership. She had notes. No slides to be shown. It was just her. Just her talking and connecting with the audience.
I feel like what she had to say was all about advice. How to stay connected — not to technology — but to the other individuals in our lives and most importantly to ourselves. To take and savor moments and to recharge, rest, regroup, and unplug. Don’t get caught up in the random stuff of the day but rather connect to yourself so you can be a better person, partner, employee, parent, leader.
It was this focus on connecting with yourself that really resonated. Moving away from a 24/7 ideal of who has the least sleep wins. Who has the most money wins. Who has the highest level job wins. She called it a culture of burnout. She called out men for creating this culture (and apologized but was clear in saying that they really had created it…and guys, you have.) and called out to women to change it.
Burnout is the disease of our civilization. Women we have to lead the way out of it. Men you have designed the world we are living in. It’s not working for men, women or polar bears.
Perhaps most importantly she emphasized that in order to be creative in a constantly changing environment where we must evolve continuously, leaders must make space to allow for not just their own creativity, but the creativity of their employees as well. This space includes letting go of projects that don’t really matter, taking naps (YES!), stop holding grudges against others (it just takes too much precious energy), and redefine what success really means.
Money and power is a two-legged stool. We need to have a third metric of success that emphasizes our well-being, wisdom, capacity to wonder, and ability to give back.
Lesson 2: Brian Solis is AWESOME. Yes I know, I said that yesterday. Today he spoke about key themes from his book, What’s the Future of Business? or #WTF for short. Brian spoke about a wide range of things, but his focus really was on this concept of Generation C. His definition was actually one I really like, as I am very skeptical about this whole generational cohort thing. He said,
Generation C is the generation that is connected by the way we live our life. It’s a lifestyle, not an age group.
So we know that we can’t do business the “old fashioned way”. That’s been the theme of the conference. But Brian always has a great way of just cutting through the hype and making it real. He told a story of conducting a keyword analysis on consumer generated content for an “unnamed airline”. He said, “The experiences of others becomes your brand.” Ok. I get it. But then he showed this:
Now I REALLY get it. Don’t you? He said a bunch more awesome stuff, but this post is only for the big highlights. Watch the Inbound13 hashtag for videos of the different speakers.
Lesson 3: My students are AWESOME. Wait…I said that yesterday too didn’t I? Well, technically I said they were AMAZING. Today I had the pleasure of getting a personalized tour of Arnold WorldWide offices in Boston from Champlain Alumna McKenna Tatro who is their HR/Recruiting Coordinator. Great office space. Really cool awards and vibe all over the place. But I have to admit I was really impressed with their beer and their beer vending machine.
But seriously, what was I really impressed with? I bet you can’t guess!
McKenna is a Vermonter. Through and through. She took advantage of every opportunity at Champlain, worked hard…and I mean held down a demanding manger position at a local hotel, and went to school full time to get her Marketing degree in 2011. I remember a time when she never saw herself leaving Vermont. And here she is, just TWO years after graduating giving her old marketing professor a grand tour of one of the top advertising agencies in the world. Sweet!
Lesson 4: Marketing and Sales still don’t work well together. I attended an encore presentation of a session I missed out on yesterday entitled, “SH$% Your Marketing Professor Never Told You: How to Build a Rock Star Team that Drives Revenue and Aligns with Sales” presented by Liz McClellan, Vice President of Field Marketing for PGi. Her whole presentation was about how Marketing and Sales don’t get along, and what the marketing team has to do to get along with the sales people, how to hire the right people to fit, and how to create a strong team environment.
I have to admit that I haven’t really emphasized the challenges between marketing and sales in my classes because…well I thought that was in the past. I hadn’t really heard it was still an issue. But I can tell you based on the people in the room, their interest, and their questions, it is clear there is still a problem. So I’ll be sure to talk more with my students about the challenges of working in organizations that are still operated as silos and what they might expect between departments, as well as what it might be like to work on a cross-functional team. Yep I should be able to squeeze that somewhere in Week 8.
Honestly though, the best way to teach these kind of issues is outside of the classroom in internship experiences. So hey Liz — we have dynamite students at Champlain and you seem like a firecracker of a manager where they could learn a lot. Do you have an internship program by any chance?
Lesson 5: Earplugs at #inboundrocks are a really smart thing. Hubspot hosted One Republic and Wildside in a private concert tonight. I didn’t make it to Wildside (sad…but much fun was had at the alternative I chose, which while epic is certainly not something to post on a blog!) but I did make it to One Republic. It was loud.
And well, I admit it, I’m old. Older than a lot of the people (not all of them) who were there. But it did seem that I was the only one with ear plugs. Hmmm…I’m so surprised that @hubspot did not give out orange ear plugs. I think that would be brilliant of them to do. Fun branding that is super functional and saves hearing!
Perhaps this little Vine will give you a small taste.
Of course some pictures would be cool too don’t you think?
And with that, my friends I’m going to end this post and go to bed. Much more shenanigans to be had tomorrow, plus the long drive home, so my recap of day 3 probably won’t happen until Friday.
I can tell you that this conference is a very good conference, and I’m not seeing half of the things I could be seeing. Jam packed and full of good information — look out students because I’m going to come to classes next week with so many new examples and inspiration!