It is a common misconception that every opportunity presented must be taken.
As young professionals just starting out, we are taught to wait for, and grasp on to any and all opportunities presented to us. We accept promotions and new positions without a second thought. We take on big projects with a smile on our faces. We are taught to cling to every single opportunity in order to be noticed, and continually increase our sphere of influence. We are taught to accept opportunity as quickly as possible, lest we "miss our shot" and "completely throw off our future". We are taught that opportunity doesn't come knocking often, so when it does we better not miss it; because if we do miss it, we very well may not see it again for quite some time.
That is, very simply, NOT TRUE.
The older I get, and the harder I work, the more opportunities I am presented with. The more opportunities I am presented with, the more I realize that opportunity is not as rare as I once thought it was. Opportunity is, in fact, everywhere!
Like death and taxes - meetings are inevitable. I know this is one of my more morbid blog post introductions, but anyone who has ever been in an unproductive meeting can understand my strong stance and the purposeful juxtaposition of the three fore-mentioned terms (meetings, death & taxes). Unproductive meetings lead to: wasted time, wasted money, increased stress, team disorder and the overall frustration of all parties involved. If you are a young professional, there is a very high likelihood that you will be responsible for leading/facilitating a meeting at some point in your career. I am here to make sure that when that day comes, you will be ready!
Now, there are many ways to successfully lead a productive meeting. The steps I have included in this blog post are simply the steps that I have been utilizing. I have lead and facilitated hundreds of meetings with many influential clients, and this method has worked seamlessly every time.
If you are reading these tips and have questions, or need more in depth clarification - just leave a comment below or write me directly here. I love answering questions, and I am happy to help you in any way that I can!
Step 1: Develop a formal agenda for the meeting. The pre-work is without a doubt the most important aspect of holding a productive meeting. The agenda allows you to communicate the overall goal/purpose of the meeting to all participants prior to the meeting. It allows participants to review documentation & compile information ahead of time, with the goal of being able to make meaningful contributions to the conversation during the allotted meeting time. Providing the agenda early enough for participants to review information is crucial. I would recommend 3-5 days prior to the meeting. Also, send out a meeting reminder with the agenda the day before the meeting as well.
The agenda should include:
- meeting name/subject
- date/time (specify time zone for virtual meetings)
- location information
- list of all expected attendees
- formal agenda topics
- table for collecting action items (columns include: action item title | designated POC (point-of-contact) | expected completion date | actual completion date).
For those of you who know me, you know how much I love the minimalist clothing lifestyle. There are so many benefits to wardrobe minimalism. Not only does it save time and money, but minimalism also requires a graceful synthesis of creativity and discipline.
Over the past three weeks, I have had quite a number of individuals comment on the new addition to my minimalist accessories - my large MICHAEL Michael Kors Tote in luggage (luggage is actually the name of the color).
Before I begin, I must say that this bag was a very generous gift from my Best Friend! She totally surprised me with this bag on the day before her wedding! What a sweet & loving GEM! I swear I had been dreaming about this bag! She just knows me so well <3
MICHAEL Michael Kors Tote: Jet Set Travel Large East/West in Luggage
Currently, this exact bag is retailing for $278 at Bloomingdales. My friend informed me that the most strategic time to purchase would be on Cyber Monday - when deals are at their lowest for the most part. The outside is just the start - check out the inside!