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Submitted by Ippie on


Hey All, most of the conferences I go to are very industry specific.

Rather than taking a one off training class to boost my management skills, I was wondering if any of you had recommendations on favorite conferences on management, project management, communication, leadership, etc...?


Mark's picture
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I really hate to say it, but I'm going to.

There are none. I can recommend ZERO.

Why? Because leadership isn't an industry, nor is management communication. Industry conferences are about similarly vertically aligned companies sharing ideas and selling product. That model doesn't translate into the management realm.

There are lots of courses you can go to, some of them pretty good, but they're not conferences, per se.

Mike and I have been talking about something like this. I wonder what everyone thinks?


Gary King's picture

[quote]Mike and I have been talking about something like this. I wonder what everyone thinks? [/quote]

An awesome idea. Sign me up.

Mark's picture
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Thanks! We'll keep you posted.


MattJBeckwith's picture
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I am not a big fan, in general, to sending managers to an offsite "conference" to hone in on their management skills but have found a virtual conference that can not only help refine core management skills but also gives you some practical tools you can use at work. This concept of "virtual conference" may be new but I think it's a worthwhile medium; it's called podcasting and the name of the site is

Seriously, this podcast is an excellent compliment to any leadership study and the format is perfect. Listen a little while you drive, review it home on your days off, with the material in front of you. I, too, have never been so impressed with any management conference that I couldn't wait to send all of my reports.

MattJBeckwith's picture
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If you are a manager in a business that ultimately services a customer I have a unique idea to help broaden your horizons and refine your skills as a manager.

First, pick a different industry than the one in which you are currently employed.

Second, find a successful office / store / location near you that is in that industry.

Third, introduce yourself to the manager responsible for that operation and ask if you can spend some time with her. I would recommend meeting with a manager that is one level above your current level or higher (although, be warned, job offers can come out of no where).

There you go. I know that's very over-simplified but I hope my point makes sense.

I have never worked in the grocery business but years ago I met with a general manager of a medium sized grocery store. I knew this store was successful because I used to ask the checkers about why they all seemed to love working there and they all said that they were treated so well that they really felt the need to treat customers the same way. I got to know my "mentor" over a year or so, until he was wooed to go to another company. I learned a ton of great lessons from him but none so valuable as the one I learned when our paths crossed again years later and he offered me a job. I didn't accept the position (I was very happy where I was) but never forgot that.

Sprinkle on some (I promise I am not paid to say that), some general interest homework and reading, add some observational education (ask your friends or family members if you can go observe their workplace for a day), some peer networking and BOOM! Cheaper than a conference, more enjoyable (unless you are going to see Frank Abagnale speak) and you'll add more value to [b]yourself[/b], [b]your company[/b] and [b]those who count on you[/b]!

Mark & Michael - great site!

- DT

Anonymous's picture


Your point makes COMPLETE sense. There are all kinds of low-tech ways to learn and grow one's skills, and I really like your suggestion. I've made a commitment to do it for myself and see what happens.

One of the reasons I believe it will work is that I've learned so much just by being curious. Reading a lot, asking questions at stores and companies, and gradually pasting together all the different ideas from different industries and businesses is fascinating. My job makes it easier, but it's possible for anyone.'



Mark's picture
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I just saw your "earlier" post about Manager Tools as a virtual conference.

NIIIIIICE! Thanks. It's a perspective that makes me think differently, and I like that.