The purpose of this article is to share my experience at a technology council meeting with many prominent people in business and technology. It is to share my learning and intentions after attending.
I just got back from a technology conference in Salt Lake. You see, something very interesting happened. I was planning on attending Steve Pavlina’s Conscious Growth Workshop – which takes place this Halloween weekend. But I had this nagging feeling that I shouldn’t go. I wasn’t sure why. The workshop would have been valuable. His workshop is going on now and today I can see why I had the nagging feeling.
Our CTO at work asked me today if I would like to attend a technology conference in Salt Lake City. Our company had someone back out and I was one of the next people he thought of. Of course I said yes! My sweet wife was very understanding in allowing me to take a Friday evening away from the house. Let me share with you some thoughts from this conference now.
First off, wow! What an amazing environment. A stark contrast to the daily struggles I see. This was a room full of people – and about people – who are making a tremendous difference in the world with technology. The current governor of Utah, Gary Herbert was there. Utah’s former governor, Michael Leavitt was there. Many prominent people in business were there as well. And by prominent, I mean people who have created multi million/billion dollar companies with focuses in health care, internet, and other technological areas. Let me share some of their names for you to digest and lookup should you desire.
- John Chambers – CEO, Cisco Systems
- Gary Herbert – Utah governor
- Dale Ballard – Pioneer in disposable medical products
- Gary Crocker – Medical deivce/biotech entrepreneur and philanthropist
- Michael Leavitt – Entrepreneur, collaborator, visionary and statesman
- Richard Nelson – founder and CEO of the Utah Technology Council
- Alan Hall – Chairman and master of ceremonies
- Jeffrey Nelson – Vice chairman
- Eric Clafson – Vice chairman
- Orin Hatch – Utah senator
The keynote speaker was John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco systems. I learned that John took over the company in 1991 with just a few hundred employees and now the company has over 70,000 employees. He has a billion dollar net worth. He has an amazing vision for the future and his ability to convey and meet market demands for technology staggered me. John gives me something much greater than myself to shoot for. There are many steps for me to take and much for me to learn before I can take the stage like John did. But I want to.
Key ideas by John Chambers
- Collaboration and video in the future will be essential
- Using technology to improve education and health care
- Innovate before your peers
- Everything is becoming connected
- Think 5-10 years down the road
I am joyous and overwhelmed at the same time. Businesses, Universities, and other organizations attended the conference in Salt Lake. It was suit and tie / your best dress event. I sat at the table with 9 other people from our company, including our CTO. I just tried to sit and listen and take everything in. The tickets were a few hundred dollars a piece to this council meeting. This was not your average get together!
What I realized
When I listened to John Chambers talk, I felt my energy increase. I know I’m just one man looking to make a difference. So is John Chambers. So is Gary Herbert. So is Jeremy Johnson! I realize that it is possible to make a huge difference in the world. If the CEO of Cisco systems can do it – if he can gain the prestige, power, and sophistication to make the difference he is, then why not me? I think the only limiting factor is my ability to overcome fear and go get it.
I can accept nothing less than CEO or CTO of a company that makes a difference on a large scale. I can accept nothing less than the responsibility and wealth that come with such a position. It is my destiny – my created destiny to have an impact on this level. And I say this not with a young, naive look in my eyes. I know full well I will be stretched well beyond my current understanding of myself and what I feel comfortable with. I know there are unknowns that will test my limits to achieve this.
But make no mistake, I am going for it with all engines firing. I have a meeting at work tomorrow with my team. I am going to tell them that I have a high standard for excellence. Those who don’t want to meet this standard should find another team. Those who want to meet the high standard better buckle up for a difference making ride.
I have my intent. I may not have the expertise, plan, or knowledge yet to fulfill it. But it starts with an intent. I will use my excellence in understanding details to flesh out the plan to get there. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.