Tag Archives: leadership summit

Leading with Authentic Concern

Business people shaking handsBy Brian Wolff

Leading in good times is challenging enough, and with all that has happened this year, the degree of difficulty has escalated by a factor of at least two. Today’s leader must be able to connect with their people on a different level to be effective.

As a leader, my teammates want to know I am leveling with them all the time. It doesn’t really matter if this is their first job or if they’ve been on the job for 20 years–people respond better when you speak the truth, even if that truth is bad news.

We call that being authentic or operating with authentic concern, which simply means demonstrating that you value the other person enough to provide positive and negative feedback with empathy, without patronizing them with false praise or treating them as a tool to get a job done.

There are many facets to authentic concern, but it starts with doing what you said you were going to do. A phrase I borrow from my old boss is “thought, word, deed.” In the end, leaders must do all they can to create an environment where people feel safe to express their true feelings, knowing the recipient will listen and consider another perspective. We don’t always have to agree, but we do owe our colleagues a commitment to being open to ideas and their point of view.

Of course, authentic concern can’t just be a cute phrase on the wall; it must deliver business value. In fact, my experience is that when leaders operate with authentic concern, their people follow the lead and deliver authentic concern to their customers. Customers feel that authenticity and return the favor with their dollars and loyalty, creating a virtuous cycle of fulfilled employees and repeat customers.

Brian Wolff is president and CEO of Parker Technology. He will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2020 Leadership Summit, online, Oct. 6-8. For details and to register, click here.

How to Network During a Virtual Event

Woman networking with others over Zoom.By Ashley Owens

We are all working from the safety of our homes and many of our powerful engagements now happen online. While we are physically distancing, virtually we are not. Online conferences give us access to the best experts, industry leaders, and other potential assets to our network, so it’s important to be creative and strategic in building relationships from virtual events. Here are some ways to virtually network at a conference:

Have a Goal. 

Begin by establishing your virtual networking goals. How many people do you want to connect with? Will you begin to spend virtual time weekly with certain connections? Be intentional in planning and strategizing your way through to a conference. This will direct your focus and effort in networking that drives professional advancement.

Comment and Engage. 

Share relevant comments and thoughts on topics to showcase your expertise. Be visible on the event platform and community or event app. Post questions, insights, review, and hear from others, too. This strategy helps you find your way to connections with shared professional or educational interests, causes, and contacts.

Create Personal Conversations.

When you follow-up with your new connections, understand that conversations at this time of our life may become personal. This is a powerful way of building trust while sharing both our growth and challenges, both personally and in the business.

Working remotely may have dramatically changed the way we connect, but the possibilities are endless. Stay creative, strategize, and know that success is right in front of you!

Ashley Owens is a networking concierge and head of Ashley Assists. She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2020 Leadership Summit, online, Oct. 6-8. For details and to register, click here.

Re-imagining Emotional Intelligence

By Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP

Google’s English dictionary, provided by Oxford Languages, defines emotional intelligence as, “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

In recent years, emotional intelligence has become a more and more common topic at professional conferences. It’s touted as a key ingredient in both personal and professional success. Being able to understand your own emotions, manage them, and use them in positive ways can help you relieve stress and communicate more effectively. Being able to read—and then navigate—other people’s emotions is a valuable tool to help manage relationships and even diffuse conflict.

Emotional intelligence is not a skill everyone possesses. Some folks may seem to have a natural gift, but others have had to learn how to be that way. Life experiences can be helpful in learning how to hone and apply these skills. For example, living in a dorm room or apartment with initial strangers is a situation that can force one to modify behaviors. But if a person is naturally—or worse, intent on being—cold, callous, insensitive, or thoughtless, that won’t bode well for their personal or professional relationships.

During RE-IMAGINE, IPMI’s virtual Leadership Summit, you can gain some insight into this topic as well as other interpersonal communication and business skills. Held October 6-8, you don’t want to miss this event. Early-bird pricing ends September 15. See the lineup of great sessions here.

Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP, is IPMI’s director of meetings and membership

Mastering the Art of Effective–Really Effective–Networking

Woman networking with others over Zoom.By Ashley Owens

Networking is such a personal activity–it is not a one-size-fits-all practice. Most people get bogged down in the details and miss out on the foundation of how to build and retain an effective network. At the end of the day, no one cares WHAT you do, but do you know them, like them or trust them?

In an industry built on the power of connecting face-to-face, establishing and growing meaningful relationships is undeniably critical to long-term success. During IPMI’s Leadership Summit this October, I’ll share ways to nurture your current business relationships so that you can create your own tactical, individualized approach. You will learn how to save time by recognizing the best strategic partners and effectively engaging contacts up using email, messaging, social media, and other digital tools.

Dive in and engage with your peers in this highly interactive session, where you learn how to balance your strengths, network strategically and with confidence, and craft an authentic, powerful, professional networking process to achieve a wildly successful career.

Ashley Owens is a networking concierge and head of Ashley Assists. She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2020 Leadership Summit, online, Oct. 6-8. For details and to register, click here.

You Can’t Do a Good Job if Your Job is All You Do

Forget to check your phoneBy Rita Pagan

This year’s IPMI Leadership Summit was chock-full of juicy tools and techniques for leaders in the industry. The one that stuck out most to me was something everyone wanted help to implement in their lives: whole living and personal wellness. Ask yourself: Are you spending time doing things you love, or are you too drained to do anything other than recoup before the next workday begins?

Highly accomplished leaders learn how to manage their energy and focus on the actions  only they can do to move the needle in their organizations, they honor their boundaries and personal life commitments, and they know how to stop the world and stop their thoughts on command.

Delegating to others, creating a “to-stop list,” improving your time-management skills, and taking care of yourself (e.g., exercising, getting checkups, practicing great nutrition, carving out time to relax, etc.) are just a few of the many ways to reclaim your work-life balance and personal wellness.

Call in sick and don’t feel guilty! You deserve it!

Rita Pagan is IPMI’s events and exhibits manager.

The S.M.A.R.T. Approach to Financial Goals

By Mark A. Vergenes

As you move through life, it’s essential to continually establish, measure, and refine long-term financial goals. We recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. planning tool. It’s believed George T. Doran created this acronym for a management paper he wrote back in 1981 for the Washington Water Power Company.

S: Specific Financial Goals

When you create goals, it’s not enough to write down that you want to have enough money to live a general kind of life or save for retirement. Instead, be specific in ways that help you map out a real plan: pay off my existing debt in the next 12 months, or save enough in the next eight years to pay for half of my two children’s college.

You can have more than one specific goal but you shouldn’t have dozens. Pick the items that are most important to you and your way of life and focus on achieving the most important goals.

M: Measurable Financial Goals

As you develop your financial goals, you’ll need to assign dollar values. To see your progress as you reach your goals, you’ll need to measure them periodically.

A broad goal is to save for retirement. Think more specifically. You may be 20 years from retirement and want enough to spend $50,000 a year each year for an estimated 15 years of retirement. This allows a financial planner to help you figure out reasonable savings goals, factoring in interest over time, expected returns, social security, cost of living, health care concerns, and inflation.

A: Assignable Financial Activities

Who is going to track your financial goals? Are you going to spend time doing this with your partner or spouse? Would you like a financial planner to help you track your progress? Is your sister-in-law an accountant who wants to help? To reach aggressive financial goals, assemble a team of experts and make sure everyone understands their assigned role.

R: Realistic Financial Goals

We all want a Porsche. And a villa in Italy. And to retire at age 40. But shooting for the moon is not helpful when creating financial plans. Consider your income and a reasonable projection of your future income, and plan accordingly. If you want to eliminate mortgage payments before you retire in five years but you owe more than $100,000, diverting all your money into home payments may not be your best move. It may be more realistic to downsize, refinance, or even rent your home to tourists for three months of every year.

T: Timeline

Most of us postpone serious financial commitments until our 30s, 40s, 50s, or beyond. Create realistic timelines for your goals and stick to them. While it may feel uncomfortable to extend your mortgage into your retirement years, it may be necessary to meet other financial obligations in the interim.

The more time you give yourself to reach financial goals, the more attainable they will become. Planning early can, literally, pay off in the long run.

Mark A. Vergenes is president of MIRUS Financial Partners. He will speak on this topic at IPMI’s 2019 Leadership Summit, Oct. 3-4 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Investment Advisor Representative offering Securities and Advisory Services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. MIRUS Financial Partners and Cetera Advisor Networks LLC are not affiliated. 

Brand Yo’Self

By Madison Huemmer

The first step in personal branding is to identify what presence you want to exude. Many people do not realize that your personal world and professional world world differ–but not as much as you think. If you fully cut off your true persona from your work life, you will come across as disingenuous. So for professionals it is about finding the right mix.

An exercise I use at all my presentations is to write down the top three characteristics you embody. For example, I perceive myself as confident, intelligent, and blunt. Next, ask a trusted colleague to asses you as well. The words I get most often are confident, dorky, honest, and talkative.

See how their perception matches up with your self-assessment and bring them with you to IPMI’s Leadership Summit! We will discuss how to make small changes to help you come across as genuine and professional, during first and continued impressions.

If you want an extra challenge I suggest asking a newer coworker as well–if they are comfortable. See how your first impressions match up with your lasting ones. Are they similar? Do you come of better earlier or later? Does your first impression need improvement? Are you portraying your authentic self?

Madison Huemmer is iParq’s EVP of sales and marketing. She will speak on this topic at IPMI’s 2019 Leadership Summit, Oct. 3-4 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

When Fear of Failing Stops Us From Starting

By Jess Cisco

I had a realization as I fell asleep last night: the fear of failure sometimes causes me to avoid even starting.  Here’s how I came to that conclusion.

Several years ago, I bought a book called Brilliant Memory Training by Jonathan Hancock.  I began reading it but stopped shortly after starting.  Since then, I have had the book on my to-do list.

Yesterday, I finally started reading it again.  The book has many exercises that, the first time I began the book, I promptly skipped. This time, I noticed that I wanted to skip the exercises again but didn’t realize why until I was falling asleep: I was afraid to have my poor memory or poor mind exposed to me, revealing that I was not intelligent enough.

But I did the exercises.  I created a visual story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to remember this list of items: camera, sunglasses, passport, sunscreen, hiking boots, books, and insect repellent. I also memorized a list of numbers: 2, 37, 29, 25, 54, 37, 16, 61, 88.  I just recalled the list and the numbers (in sequence, only making one mistake, missing the 14), despite only taking a few seconds to memorize both lists.  The visual images are so vivid.

Let’s get back to my realization. As I fell asleep, my brain felt so alive, with vivid images about my entire day–it was as if my brain had grown and was much more visual as a result of the activities in the book and in my willingness to practice with the activities.  I was thrilled.  And I realized that I almost didn’t even start the activities: I was–and likely often am–worried about failing, and so I almost didn’t even start.

It’s often difficult to begin without judgement or expectation.  But, at least in this example of my life, it’s worth trying.  I’ve grown.  Now, I am going to do it again today: read, do the practice, and grow again.

Jess Cisco is founder and managing partner of ActiveLeading. He will speak on this topic at IPMI’s 2019 Leadership Summit, Oct. 3-4 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Use Your Data!

By Brett Wood, CAPP

I can recall a moment about 10 years ago when we were collecting and analyzing data from a major U.S. city to help validate and construct a new pricing and management scheme. I was reviewing the time sheet of one of my co-workers who was entering and analyzing the data and his cell notes for the day were just the word “DATA,” written over and over about 1,000 times. I could feel his mental breakdown through the computer screen.

Data has become a critical cog in our decision-making relative to our parking and mobility programs’ performance. We are supposed to use it to apply policies, communicate change, and define success. But we are often so overwhelmed by the mountain of data we generate that it becomes crippling to achieve these principles. When we lose control of the data we are supposed to be managing, we risk losing the intended direction of our programs.

One of the key focus areas for managing and maintaining data is defining process and practice for capturing and analyzing data. This is best completed with the assistance of technology, dashboards, and the application of key performance indicators and benchmarks to measure change. I’m excited to bring some insights and information about these areas to the upcoming IPMI Leadership Summit in Pittsburgh, Pa. Hoping you can join me and 99 of the industry’s best and brightest to learn more about this and a variety of great topics!

Brett Wood, CAPP, is a parking consultant with Kimley-Horn. He will speak on this topic at IPMI’s 2019 Leadership Summit, Oct. 3-4 in Pittsburgh, Pa.


The 2018 IPMI Leadership Summit Educates and Entertains

DENVER, COLO., WAS THE PLACE FOR PARKING AND MOBILITY professionals to be in October, when IPMI’s second Leadership Summit brought together a fantastic group for professional development, net­working, and fun.

Small by design, the Leadership Summit saw 100 professionals from all career stages gather together to learn and make important connections during sessions and social events and the opportunity to ask questions and learn during topic-specific Knowledge and Networking Hubs. Keynoter Josh Allison from THINK CAFÉ offered a thought-provoking talk about sustain­able strategies for leaders to survive and thrive in the workplace. Sessions ranged from mitigating conflict through email, to employee engagement, to maintaining balance, to ethical leadership, with more around every corner.

Summit attendees also enjoyed getting to know each other and making valuable network connections during a variety of events. Team-building lunch hours, a game night (complete with gi­ant Jenga), a fun and relaxed welcome reception, and the chance to update their photos with professional head­shots were all hits.

Many thanks to this year’s Leader­ship Summit sponsors: Marlyn Group, T2, ParkMobile, Parkhub, Parksmart, Curbway, TimHaahs, Premium Park­ing, Southland Printing, Toledo Ticket, and Flowbird.

Ready to experience the Leadership Summit yourself? Save the date: Octo­ber 3–4, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pa., for 100 industry professionals. We can’t wait!

Read the article here.