By Dean Whittaker

While attending the IAMC forum this Fall, I heard three outstanding speakers.

Never, Ever, Give Up!

Diana Nyad, a long distance swimmer, gave an inspiring talk about her four attempts, and eventual success, to swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida. Her message: ‘Never, ever, give up!’ She finally succeeded when she was 62 years old!

Don’t Forget!

The second speaker was Bob Gray who taught the audience tips for memorizing anything, especially people’s names and connections. He said that all memory is based upon association to something we already know. The more odd the association, the more memorable the memory will be. He taught us to connect the left side logical/analytical side of our brain to the right side using imagery, imagination, color, and passion to remember things.

Be Here Now!

The final keynote speaker was Seth Mattison who spoke about the future of work and relationships. He described the clash between the hierarchical command-and-control organizational structure under which the baby-boomers grew up, and the flat organizational structure that is open and collaborative of the Millennial generation who will compose 50% of the workforce by 2020.

To bridge the gap and build better relationships, Mattison suggested that we each work from a position of influence rather than from a position of power. He suggested we have the courage to ask to be held accountable and to communicate clearly by asking open-ended questions.

He said that we needed to be intentional and decide how we want to show up. Mattison said that the key is how we start our day and suggested 15-minutes of gratitude mediation or yoga, and 15-minutes of stretch exercise. He described the world of distraction in which we live as a result of technology and how we miss out on the moment. We need to be present to the relationship around us…BE HERE NOW. He quoted his grandfather who said, ‘Love people, serve people, add value, and have fun.’

The IAMC program content was some of the best I’ve seen in the many years participating in the forum. The host committee in Cleveland did an outstanding job to make the group feel welcome. The reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the l890’s Arcade provided opportunities to connect with old friends and make a few new ones. The next Forum will be in New Orleans in early 2016.