by Nolan Crabb
Think leadership conference, and what comes to mind? Someone delivering a monotonous tome about how to be a leader and why you should be one? Maybe you think of hours of lecture about things that aren't relevant to your affiliate and meals that leave a lot to be desired.
If that's your idea of a leadership conference, chances are high you weren't at the Crossroads Leadership Conference, held March 15 and 16 in Louisville. This multi-state gathering of ACB members and leaders was anything but boring; the registration fee was more than reasonable, and the meal functions were excellent.
Attendees came from as far away as Iowa and Maine, and more than 50 people were present throughout the day-and-a-half-long conference.
Conference-goers were treated to a thoughtful discussion at lunch about leaders in literature, focusing primarily on some of Mark Twain's characters to portray excellent leadership qualities.
There were "dress for success" sessions for both men and women. The conference offered two sessions on social networking, focusing on Facebook and Twitter, among others.
Some of the sessions were somewhat more informal, allowing attendees to get better acquainted. Because of the camaraderie that existed among participants, ACB treasurer Carla Ruschival remarked that Crossroads "was more like a large state convention rather than groups of people subdivided by geography."
The group enjoyed sessions on how to run a meeting using proper parliamentary procedure; there were sessions on board development, campaigning for office, and how to appropriately mesh the interests and needs of the state affiliate with the national one.
There were sessions on iPhone and iPad apps designed to enhance productivity and better organize the lives of those who use them. Additionally, the group learned about file conversions that make sense when dispensing information to affiliate members. One of the final sessions of the day included a discussion on how to minimize bad publicity and damage when something goes horribly awry within the affiliate.
So successful was the conference that attendees asked to be included on an e-mail list specific to the conference so that discussions begun there could continue throughout the year. The small cadre of planners who helped put the conference together have already committed to Crossroads 2014, which will occur in early to mid-March.