Another SOBCon has come and gone, and once again I come away astounded by the experience. Utterly and totally astounded. Liz Strauss and I put 150 people in a room, and started a two and a half day conversation. And when we finished, all of us were transformed.
I know, transformed is a pretty strong word, and for those of you who have never been to a SOBCon, I can understand some skepticism here. How can that happen? It’s just a conference, right? And we all know what happens there – speakers speaking, panelists pontificating, and audience members watching passively (and checking their watches looking forward to the next coffee break).
SOBCon has evolved into something totally and utterly different. It’s a powerful vortex of positive energy that brings out the best of all who come under its influence. Its force is strong enough to totally change perspectives and embolden the mind and heart. In the past we’ve likened this to a “Think Tank”, but it’s really much more than that – it’s a “Do Tank”.
That’s where the transformation comes in. A person comes in with a dream, a concept, a half-finished business plan, or an existing business looking for a breakthrough, and comes out with a new vision, renewed initiative, and a strong bias for action.
The Do Tank takes fears and faces them head on, and with a collective “push” banishes them to the outer reaches of our consciousness, replaced by the realization that fearlessness is the only way to turn our dreams into reality.
Inherent in all this is one of the hidden powers of humanity – if you can gather a room full of people who WANT to make a breakthrough, have open minds and hearts, and, provide the right catalysts to stir up all that desire and create an atmosphere of trust by the power of their own passion, you can move a lot of mountains (and even convert a lot of skeptics).
Think about that one for a second – yes, that’s the SOBCon “Do Tank” model, but can you see how that can be applied by just about ANY group of people – a business, a non-profit, a club, a family, a community, or any other assemblage of humans. And guess who those “catalysts” are?
This past weekend our leaders, the speakers and panelists, beget many more leaders by the addition of our mastermind sessions, where every table got their chance to stir the pot and challenge each other. By the time we started our inspiring non-profit session on Sunday, we had a roomful of leaders, ready to fearlessly do what they love, and the transformation was complete.
There is tremendous power to an atmosphere of trust and love. SOBCon2010 was living proof that this isn’t a theory, or some farfetched utopian dream – it’s the real basis for positive change.
And yes, we also talked about what makes businesses successful, and how the social media tools that many of us use can play an important role in that success, but the real takeaway this year was that collective kick in the rear we all got to just “do”.
That kick inspired me, as we closed the event on Sunday, to quote the baseball hall of famer Yogi Berra, who said “when you get to the fork in the road, take it”.
We all got there at SOBCon2010, and boy did we take it. In whatever direction our hearts pointed us.
I extend my grateful thanks to the attendees, speakers and panelists. I offer special thanks to those wonderful people who contributed time and effort to help us pull this off again.
And to you Liz, my dear friend and partner, I say this: The barn is up!