Last night I was part of a get together of local bloggers. I've been to this type of thing before, but this was the first I've been to that I put together.


We hadn't done this in a long time, as some of the original organizers have moved on to other things that take up most of their time. It had been over a year since we'd tried to meet and I figured it was long enough and decided to go ahead and take the reins to try to get it done.

It was a small and intimate gathering, yet everyone there had a lot of fun. Even people who ended up not being able to come thanked me for setting it up.

One of the things I often do is find leadership lessons in a lot of things that either I or others do. This event counts as one of those things. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back for doing this, but there were some lessons I thought about that works to talk about here.

1. Identify an issue and attack it.

The issue in this case was that we hadn't had a meeting in over a year. I doubt I'm the only one who noticed it but I was the one who decided I wanted to put it together. The first thing I did was go to our Facebook group, mention how long it had been, and put out a general feeler to see if anyone else was interested. If I hadn't gotten a positive response I'd have left it alone and this post would have been about something else entirely. 🙂

2. Realize you can't accommodate everyone.

After I put the feeler out and saw that there seemed to be a significant response, the next thing I did was put out a few dates for us to potentially meet. The responses I got were what I was expecting; not everyone could commit to the same date for this or that reason.

I knew that there wouldn't be a perfect date for everyone so I decided on the date and put it out there. Some people immediately knew they couldn't come and indicated it; others had to say "maybe" because they weren't sure. Still others immediately confirmed they were going to come on that date.

I've learned over the years that leaders never get 100% on anything they try to do. Although sometimes they might get 100% against them by making an unpopular decision, most of the time the best they can hope for is enough of a positive response to move forward without a lot of resistance. Once a decision is made, unless you know you're way off the mark, stick with it.

3. Do your research and make sure your logic is sound.

The next thing I did was create an event on Facebook indicating the date, time and place. I tried to pick a place that was more centrally located than other places we've picked, had enough parking, was well lit and would have enough free space just in case we had a lot of people show up; people could even order food.


Luckily, in this case I knew the space would be perfect and that the restaurant would be open for the time I set for everything to begin. In the event planner I gave everyone my reasons for everything I did. I didn't get a single pushback on the suggestions and I hope it was because I tried to be well reasoned.

Even when people might disagree with what you want to do, if your research and reasoning is sound they'll usually go along with it. When you can, it helps if you can allow feedback on your decision, but as the person in charge you have to be ready to make the decision for the good of the many.

4. Lead by example.

I wanted to try to be the first one there. I was the first one inside, but one of my friends was actually already in the parking lot when I got there. Overall, I thought it would be in bad taste if the person who organized the event wasn't there when people started to show up.

Once there, when new people came in I addressed all but one of them before anyone else, and the one person I didn't get to first I got to as soon as I could. Even though this wasn't my event I felt like I was the host, thus I felt an obligation to not only greet everyone but introduce people when I could. A couple of times that didn't work because I didn't know everyone in the room but I did the best I could.

I also made a point of trying to talk to everyone there for a significant part of the time. I didn't get to do so with one or two people but these were people I already knew and knew well so I didn't worry much about it, and I believe they noticed the role I was taking on. By the end of the evening it looked like everyone had a good time and I'd remembered everyone's name. 🙂

I believe that in business the culture that's established within a company starts at the top and trickles down. I also believe that a change in culture can work if someone is willing to take the lead to try to do so. The feeling I got was that everyone was having a really good time, and that's what I was trying to establish. In business your goal may be something else, but you as the leader needs to be cognizant of the mood you establish because it's the people working for you who will represent you and the company after the fact.

5. Saying "thank you" helps.

I made sure to thank every person who came to the event. At one point I had to leave to get a table because I ate dinner after the event but went back to the room to make sure I gave everyone who was still there a proper send off.

Not enough leaders thank employees for a job well done, thinking that employees should get satisfaction on their own. That's a nice thought but reality says that everyone likes recognition for the work the do as well as wants a sense of community and accomplishment. How hard is it to say "thank you" to anyone who's given their best, especially if it helped get things done?

As I said, we had a lot of fun, lessons were learned, and I can't wait until we do it again. By the way, if you've made it all the way through this article... thank you! 😉