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Lesson Learned During a Chicken Dinner

chris kopp leadership professional development Feb 10, 2021
Soft skills for the PMO Leader

“Who doesn’t know that…?” I thought to myself as the speaker presented his first point at a PMI project management event. 

I took a bite of my chicken. 

About midway through his presentation, I again couldn't help but think, “That’s obvious, isn’t it?” while shoveling in some green beans. 

My attitude did not improve the more he kept talking. 

When I finally elbowed the guy next to me and whispered, “Duh...”, while rolling my eyes and sipping iced tea, it hit me. Professionally, I knew what this guy knew, had been through what he had been through, and had even walked in the same professional shoes. Yet, I was in the audience eating an uninspiring chicken dinner and he was on stage sharing his knowledge with hundreds of people—hundreds listening to every word and benefiting by his experience. 

What was going on here? 

You need to get out of your comfort zone if you want to get out of the proverbial audience and onto the stage.

Simple. He had the guts and initiative to get out of the audience and onto the stage; I had the guts and initiative to buy a ticket for dinner and throw mental darts. He got out of his comfort zone, while I got another biscuit. 

Lesson learned? You need to get out of your comfort zone if you want to get out of the proverbial audience and onto the stage. Everybody’s stage is different. Maybe your stage is to sign up for a challenging project, or to ask for more responsibility, learn a new skill, or even giving a presentation on a literal stage. If you don't, someone else will. 

Now, would you mind passing the butter, please?