Being the host of an event can be both incredibly exciting and slightly intoxicating. Regardless of how humble one is, being the center of attention goes to your head. The problem is when you don’t know that it has happened.
I love getting people together. And, when you are the person known for bringing people together, you will receive interest from others. It makes sense, ultimately. So much of life is about connections, and among the best ways to meet someone else is to be introduced. And, if you know only the type of person but not the individual, that makes a hub even more valuable.
The problem comes when you lose sight of the original mission. People aren’t there to see you. They may be there to support you, but they attend and support ultimately for themselves. While I feel as though I know this, I received a humbling reminder not too long ago when hosting a small evening event for my new business, Grow.co.
While I have what I believe to be strong credibility and a proven track record with lead generation and events, I do not yet have the same in the mobile app ecosystem. A friend that I have known for over a decade now, one without whose support LeadsCon may not have happened, offered to support this event.
At this event, one of his most senior executives was there to present, and I screwed up big time. Perhaps worst of all, without even realizing what I did, I managed to make this supporter feel worse than chopped liver. I believe the term my friend the CEO shared with me was “thrown under the bus.”
In the days and now weeks that have followed, I have tried to figure out what could I have done differently. As I will probably continue to make jokes and continue to care too much about others feelings, I wanted to understand if there was some guiding principle I could use. And, in this case, what I forgot to do was be gracious.
I let being the host go to my head. For this group especially, I needed to remind myself they don’t know me really. They don’t even care that much about me. They care about themselves and what they hope to achieve. And even more so for a sponsor, even one that is both a friend and supporting us because they genuinely find value in what we do, I must make sure to be gracious. They and those around them make it possible, not me.