Just as every meeting holds the potential for great advances in understanding, relationships and wealth, every event professional could be the next superstar. Yet, according to informal research done by keynote speaker Thom Singer, 70 percent of people (by their own admission) are not realizing their true potential. Guests at Smart Meeting Midwest at Convene Chicago this week actively worked to join that top tier of performers.

Leap Higher

Singer arrived at his estimate that almost two-thirds of us could be doing better by asking 700 people if they felt they were reaching their potential in their careers, relationships and health. Why the potential gap? For a lot of people, fear holds them back—fear of failing, fear of the unknown, fear of succeeding. Others don’t know where to start or how to ask for help getting there.

The unfortunate truth is that potential doesn’t equal results, and too many people identified as HIPO never fulfill the promise.

How can you get unstuck from the high middle? Pair all that potential with education and action. The intersection of those three things is where achievement lives, Singer says. He advocates focusing on plans, passion, purpose and people.

Plans: Goal setting is essential. If you don’t know what success looks like, an opportunity might sit next to you, and you won’t recognize it. That doesn’t mean the goal is the only possible satisfactory outcome, but it sets a trajectory that can get you where you need to be. The journey opens opportunities. But you must set the direction.

Passion: If you love what you do, you can work through the hard parts and get to the important stuff. Wildly successful people never hate their job—just parts of it sometimes.

Purpose: You must know more than “why.” You have to know the “because.”

People: In a gadget-crazy world, we need to get back to connecting with people. We need peers, mentors and people to help us along the way.

Growing Meeting Resources

The Smart Meeting event bathed a spotlight on an emerging meeting space trend coming to big cities everywhere—Convene. The open office away from the office concept embeds convenient, flexible, rentable spaces in commercial projects with modern design and thoughtful common-area amenities such as free Wi-Fi, abundant charging stations and complimentary healthy snacks.

Chicago will soon be home to five Convene locations, including a new 90,000 sq. ft. space in Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Building). It already has a beachhead in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and London. Locations have also been announced in San Francisco and Miami.

Potential Energy
Are you doing these 6 things consistently every day?

  • Take ownership of your life.
  • Set clear career goals.
  • Work past the fear.
  • Connect with people.
  • Try new things.
  • Believe in yourself.