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Learning and Networking Never Stop

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Sara Jeffers is an account coordinator with Red Shoes PR.

As a young professional, I see the importance of attending events to further my professional growth. One of the events I attended this year was Leaderfest, a conference put on by various young professionals groups throughout northeast Wisconsin including Pulse, the young professionals group of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce. Leaderfest is an annual event geared towards professional development for young professionals. I was excited to spend the day with my peers as well as network with other professionals in the area.

The day included a keynote speaker, a CEO panel and numerous breakout sessions. While the conference happened a while ago, I attended two breakout sessions that I took timeless insights from:

Bill Wiener, Wiener Investment Services – 10 ways to manage client expectations:

1. Learn what they want, and make sure they learn what you’re capable of.

2. In business, always be a student and a teacher.

3. Only promise what you can deliver.

4. In meeting your clients’ expectations, follow these core principles:

• Get to know all of the key players

• Communicate

• Know their product or service – position yourself as an expert

• Be accessible

• Provide nothing less than excellent customer service

5. The definition of customer service? Maintaining the non-sales side of the relationship.

6. The client is always right, except when he’s wrong. Pick and choose your battles.

7. We live in an information age. Communication is everywhere. Tone is not understood through text/email. Communicate clearly, with confidence and compassion .

8. Open your mind. Knowledge does not equal power.

9. Part of being an ‘expert’ is having the integrity to admit you don’t know.

10. Responsibility is a freedom, not a burden.

Brian Pertl, Dean of Lawrence Conservatory of Music – 8 tips for great leaders:

1. Leadership management is all about communication.

2. Active listening is key. As a manager, your people are always first.

3. Leadership has to be like the opposite of micro-management; empower the team you’re trying to lead instead.

4. Leaders should destroy obstacles; your team members are experts at what they do. Empower them.

5. Customers/clients are always second to your team. If you put your team second, you cannot succeed.

6. Always hire people that are smarter than you. It feels threatening, but reassess your role as a leader – you should want every member of your team more capable than you.

7. Find the world where your passion and profession meet.

8. Great leaders don’t always have followers.

Photo credit: Eric James Sarmiento

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