Volume 3, Issue 10

October 2014

Blue Ridge Conference

Save the Date:

October 14 - 16, 2015

Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Black Mountain, NC

Reflections on the 2014 Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Reflections on the 2014 Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership I have been attending the Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership (BRCOL) since 2008. While I’m far from a veteran of trips to the Mountain, I came back from the 2014 Conference invigorated and blown away by how amazing this year’s offerings were. And, as I was reflecting on my Blue Ridge experience, I decided to re-visit a leadership trait that I don’t use as regularly as I should: expressing gratitude to those people who have a positive impact on your life. 

Since I’ve been coming to the Mountain, I have always been impressed with the speakers who share their words of wisdom with us. But I’ll confess: there have been some speakers who have left me feeling…uninspired after their presentations. 

That was NOT the case for the 2014 Conference. I will emphatically state that this year was the most consistent, motivational, and inspiring group of speakers as a whole that I’ve seen in my seven years of Blue Ridge attendance. A huge tip of the hat and a sincere THANK YOU to the Program Committee, who spent a tremendous amount of time and effort to secure the best speakers they could find. 

Personally, I was able to return to work on Monday and use the information and vocabulary from one of my breakout sessions with team members. I had already planned the conversation, but Dr. Butler’s breakout session gave me a better message and vocabulary to help that conversation go much better than it would have. THANK YOU, Dr. Butler. 

The team members from the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly were, as always, cheerful, helpful, and genuine in their support and service of Conference attendees. And I was excited to see and hear about the planned upgrades to make the Blue Ridge experience even more special for years to come! They listen to the feedback provided, both in person and from the Conference Surveys that all attendees are asked to submit, and always strive to get even better from one year to the next.

I would like to single out some special praise about the food served this year. Fresh veggies, healthy choices, and some out-of-this-world desserts made for a great time in the “chow hall.” THANK YOU, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Team members! I am grateful for the wonderful example you all set for “walking the talk” and for demonstrating self-leadership day in and day out. (I confess I did not walk off the extra calories I consumed going back in line for seconds.) 

And a heartfelt thanks to the entire BRCOL Board and the hardworking team members from Auburn University. From stuffing bags, to coordinating all the details about the sessions, schedules, and offerings, to working the long hours in the Book Store, they all epitomize the word, “Team.” No job is too small and no divas ever show up. Thank you and bless you all. 

If you’ve stuck it out this far, thank you! I’d like for you to reflect on your 2014 Blue Ridge experience and ask yourself, “What is my most memorable moment? Who was responsible for that moment?” Have you taken the time to thank him or her (or them)? Have you shared the results of your experience on the Mountain with the team “back home” who made it possible for you to attend this year? If you haven’t expressed any gratitude, we run the risk that people will think that the Conference wasn’t as awesome as it truly was. Letting these benefactors know how much you enjoyed your experience and how grateful you are for the opportunity helps to ensure that there will be attendees for the 2015 experience. 

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, please look for way to express all the things you’re grateful for. People deserve to know what a positive impact they have on you. Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season and to a wonderful 2015 Conference!

- Anthony Koch


The contributor for this month's newsletter is Anthony Koch

Board Member of the Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Director of Training  WS Badcock Corporation


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