Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicago Ideas Week 2011: onto 2012

Brad Keywell is the visionary leader behind some amazing things. The guy is one of the founding partners of Groupon, he owns and operates Lightbank, a VC organization, he co-founded TEDxMidwest and is driving force behind Chicago Ideas Week. Just to name a few.

What's Chicago Ideas Week? Well, it's a series of amazing session by amazing presenters across a wide spectrum topics. In 2011, the week long event was held in 40+ venues and included people like President Bill Clinton, Dean Kamen, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Kevin Bacon, David Gregory, Ronnie Lott, and MANY more. Additionally, SquarePlanet was honored to partner with CIW as a Platinum Sponsor and presentation provider in 2011.

So, what do you care? Well, the lesson in today's blog comes directly from Brad Keywell.

Today we received a very complete and honest assessment of the week-long event. While likely written by a team of people, the 20+ page document goes into great detail about the good, the bad and the downright ugly...and it's signed by Brad himself. In essence, it's his report card on his event. This is powerful stuff!!

Nobody questions his's quite obvious. Additionally, most people understand that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, meaning not everything he touches will turn to gold.

But think about his report card idea for just a second longer. The concept of candidly and accurately reporting on your own performance is something most us wouldn't be willing to do. Sure, all of us know in our heart of hearts how we perform in certain situations, but Keywell made his assessment of his performance public. By choice!

The ugly truth is never easy. Kudos to the entire CIW team and Keywell for embracing the realities of a situation. The next time you present, try following his lead. Honestly critique your performance. Consider what you did well, what you did poorly and what you can do to improve before the next opportunity. Use a simple scoring system, pick a few essential categories to judge yourself and use the information to force improvement.

Thanks Brad, and by the way, we give you an A!

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