Achieving Leadership Roles: The Secret to Achieving the Position (Part I)

By Star Report 4 min read

 

Professional development is a huge key here at New Home Star, and at many other organizations who are looking to invest in their people and prepare them for ‘the next step.’ Though professional development can come in many forms, I think the most impactful can be attending industry/work conferences. Not only does attending conferences enable you to step out of the office or off of the sales floor for a day and learn from others, but it also lets you step out of your comfort zone and grow your network by meeting other professionals.

To view other parts of the article series, please click on the links below.

At this point in my career, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend a variety of events hosted by my company and other sponsored conferences and events that have left a large impact on my professional development. The event that left the greatest mark was New Home Star’s first-ever Sales Rally; a three-day company-wide conference jam-packed with rigorous training, team bonding, and employee recognition on the beautiful beaches of Cancún, Mexico.

As our organization begins gearing up for our next Sales Rally, or as you are gearing up to attend any industry event, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are trying to make the most out of the experience while ensuring that you are presenting yourself in a professional manner.

  • Prepare in advance for the conference/event. Many events and conferences send out detailed information ahead of time to ensure that attendees are prepared prematurely, and most hosts make it easy to do so! Typically about 2-4 weeks out from the event, proprietary information becomes available (training session descriptions, networking sessions, accompanying documents) and it is always a good idea to take advantage of what is being distributed if you want to learn from this professional experience. For our last Sales Rally, all attendees were sent a direct mailer kit that included a three-page brochure that detailed all event and training information as well as some tropical-themed goodies to hype everyone up. It was clear that those who reviewed the brochure and watched some internal training videos that correlated with our training sessions were more engaged and prepared throughout this portion of the event.
  • Dress to impress! As a strong firm in the age-old saying, “you look as good as you feel,” I fully support adhering to the dress code provided for any given event. Typically, for invitation-only events, the dress code is always provided to ensure that all in attendance are clothed accordingly. For most professional conferences, business professional or business casual serves as the dress code, but not all events choose to go such a formal route. For example, our Sales Rally enforced a t-shirt policy for the dress code, which required all attendees to sport their New Home Star t-shirts! The reasoning behind this unique dress code had a great deal to do with the extremely warm climate our event was being held at but had more to do with our culture for awarding branded t-shirts to our highest performer. Serving almost as badges of honor, our most successful salespeople were those who had the most t-shirts! Not only did this help us further recognize our up-and-coming leaders, but it also certified that everyone was comfortable at all times. Being mindful of adhering to the dress code for any conference or event is very important in any professional environment.
  • ‘Don’t be that guy,’ or girl that is. Undoubtedly so, there are individuals that get carried away with what a large event/conference has to offer. Maintaining your professionalism at all times is pertinent, and doing so will ensure you are representing yourself and your organization in the best light. Now just because you are remaining true to yourself and acting professionally, does not mean that you can’t network and bond with your colleagues or peers. Make those connections and memories, but remember to do so in an appropriate manner if you are serious about your professional development.
  • Embrace all the event or conference has to offer. The purpose of attending work-related events or meetings is to grow your knowledge and your network. Be engaged in training sessions by asking questions and taking notes. Actively participate in networking opportunities or team activities, this will allow you to make new connections, or grow the relationships you already have. If you’re not taking advantage of all of the great benefits and offerings that come along with attending such events, you are truly missing out.

Leadership comes from within, and if you are looking to become a leader and develop yourself professionally by attending company-wide events or industry conferences, you must keep in mind the ethics outlined above. Preparing in advance, dressing to impress or adhering to the dress code, behaving professionally, and embracing all that the event has to offer will enable you to get the most out of any event. Now get out there, network with your peers, learn from the featured speakers, and professionally develop your skillset and roles by attending a conference or event today!

Originally published Sep 24, 2018 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 2, 2024

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