Take a Chance on Me

Originally posted on LinkedIn in July 2022

Who took a chance on you as you negotiated your career? 

Yesterday, I presented to a meeting professional who was the first to hire me to speak for his credit union association. 

Actually, I presented to a PICTURE of Tom McWilliams at a place reserved in his honor at the front table during the #AACULEDDIRECTORS and #CornerstoneLeague conference. 

The senior vice-president of #MississippiCreditUnionAssociation  and #NationalSpeakersAssociation Meeting Partner of the Year,  Tom passed in March. 

One of the most respected leaders in the meetings and educational director professions, Tom treated others with respect.  

No matter your role, Tom recognized  your value.  

Years ago, I was embarrassed to show him one of my feedback evaluations where the participant had given me and my presentation “2s”. 

Are you ready for the attendee’s rationale for scoring me so low on the scale on 1-5, 5 being highest? 

His words were “I think she’s smart and knows the topic well. However, she looks too much like my ex girlfriend got me to give her a higher score.” WHAT??!! 

When I reluctantly showed Tom the feedback sheet, he shook his head. I wondered how I was going to apologize for my poor performance. However, Tom said, “This is stupid. Some people make no sense”. Then, Tom…ripped…up…the…form and threw it away. He looked at the rest of the scores and said, “This can be a tough crowd. You did very well. Thanks.”

I have remembered that act of support and reassurance for years. 

Who do you have who has put things in perspective? 

How could you help someone dealing with another’s negative behavior? 

What one action could you take to help others discover that they are accepted and valued? 

Many of us loved you and your values. Thanks, Tom!