Annually around this time of year, the American Institute of Architects convenes for its National Convention and Design Exposition. This year, the convention takes place in Denver, CO., where the theme this year is “Building Leaders”. Now that the 2013 AIA National Convention is complete, I wish to provide a couple of briefs about the stories made today at the show. Here are my TWO (yes, two; the show ends quicker today than the prior two days, so less things happened) favorite stories from third and FINAL day of the 2013 AIA National Convention. But believe me, these TWO stories are awesome and worth it.
1) US General Colin L. Powell Gives Closing Keynote Address
General Colin L. Powell, a first-generation American who became a four-star general in the United States Army, the first African American Secretary of State, and a natural storyteller, shared a series of experiences and ten particular lessons he had learned throughout his lifetime of service:
“Everyone has value. […] You have great people underneath you and you have to empower them.”
“The role of the leader is to put their followers in the best environment, as they are the ones who get it done.”
“When people are doing something good, recognize it. […] A human connection is more important then anything else you can give them.”
“Share credit. […] Let all employees believe they were the ones who did it. They were.”
“Be tough. Retrain those who are not doing the job or fire them.”
“Be selfless, never selfish.”
“Remain calm. Be kind. […] Kindness connects you with other human beings in a bond of mutual respect. If you care for your followers and show them kindness, they will reciprocate and care for you.”
Have a vision. Be demanding. Followers need to know where their leaders are taking them and for what purpose.”
“Perpetual optimism, believing in yourself, believing in your purpose, believing you will prevail, and demonstrating passion and confidence is a force multiplier.”
“Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.” […] The decision is not about you or your ego; it is about gathering all the information, analyzing it, and trying to get the right answer.”
2) Submit your Education Proposals for the 2014 National Convention
The theme for next year’s convention in Chicago is “Change: Culture, Community & Commitment”, relating to that fact that change — both as a profession and individually as architects — is important in those three critical areas: culture (influence a broader societal culture that appreciates architecture and understands the architect), community (civic and cultural engagement to guide positive change), and commitment (inspiring and realize the shift in their own professional and the greater surrounding culture). Send your ideas their way!