The SAI Leadership Conference is just days away. To gear up for this year’s conference in San Diego I took a moment to chat with Leadership Conference veteran, Brian Udany, of Wilmette Park District in Illinois, about his methods for getting the most out of the experience. This year’s Leadership Conference will be Brian’s fifth year of attendance. It’s safe to say that Brian has some strategies for soaking up the benefits of the Leadership Conference. Here’s what he had to say:
- Go into the weekend mentally prepared. “I take the time beforehand to consider the challenges facing our facility of what we may face in the upcoming season,” said Brian. There is a lot of information delivered at the Leadership Conference. Brian said it has helped him discern what is most important for him is he has prepared a filter for what he and his facility needs.
- Have a goal for the Leadership Conference. For Brian, the goal is to have a ‘light bulb moment’ of information that he can take from the Leadership Conference. Typically, his ‘lightbulb moments’ are ideas that he can implement immediately at his facility.
- Keep an open mind. Over the years of attending the Leadership Conference, Brian has realized that some of what he considers to be the best ideas are coming from those who are younger than him. “I have found that while I may have my own ideas to share, there are so many things I have yet to learn,” said Brian, “and that some of the best ideas are coming from the people who are just starting out.” Brian said that listening to and valuing the opinions of different generations has given him ideas that he would have never considered before.
As with previous SAI Leadership Conferences, the 2016 conference is going to deliver valuable information and opportunity for professional growth. We’re looking forward to San Diego!