My friend, Lori Cannon and I are again working together on the Girl Scout project called Camp CEO. Last year was our first year to pair successful business women with girls in Sophomore, Junior or Seniors years of high school. They worked together for a weekend at Camp Libby.
With every successful project there is always planning for next time.
Lori and I have volunteered to find the speakers for both the weekend and the lunch that we have to acknowledge female leaders in our business community and also to recruit mentors for the weekend with the girls.
Last week both of us were at the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce monthly lunch. Anne Baker, the Executive Director of the Toledo Zoo was the speaker. She was a good presenter not only in topic but also in delivery. Her talk made me want to listen.
After lunch Lori and I talked with Dr. Baker about the possibility of her being the keynote speaker for our weekend in April. Dr. Baker jumped right in and enthusiastically agreed to do it and even said how much she loved to do stuff like that. What a breath of fresh air. We didn't get the, "I'll have to check my calendar," or "What's in it for my organization?" or "No, the group is too small, " or whatever. We asked if she could talk about alternative career paths -- certainly being a woman in the animal care world puts her in a minority, and she even had some additional ideas of what she could add.
In other words she was engaged! She gave us value before she even spoke. She developed credibility with both Lori and me almost immediately, because she was real and didn't hide behind her corporate "veil."
Thanks, Dr Baker. Thanks for being so open.
What powerful person have you found to be engaging?