I attended NACM's 115th Credit Congress & Exposition in Nashville, TN this year. I believe this is my 20th year attending Credit Congress, and I again came back energized and excited to take the new ideas and information I learned and share it with my team.
I am a veteran credit professional with over 30 years of credit experience, and each year that I attend Credit Congress I come away with information that I can use to improve efficiencies in my department, to assist me when making difficult credit decisions, to guide me in established policies and procedures that will protect our company, and establish new alliances with other credit professionals.
Over the years, I have felt privileged to have been given the opportunity of attending Credit Congress and I am thankful to my employer, Nicholas & Co, for allowing me the opportunity to attend it year after year. In turn, I show my appreciation through my dedication, hard work, and commitment. Our credit department is "best in class" and I contribute much of our success to the knowledge and information gained at these conferences.
I believe so strongly in the NACM organization that I am compelled to "pay it forward" by being a Speaker/Presenter. This has been a great opportunity for me to share the knowledge and experience with other credit professionals and continue to support NACM. The recognition I gained when contributing my time and efforts is addictive and worthwhile because of the relationships I have built.
This year I took a different approach. Instead of only attending "all" advanced sessions, I mixed it up and attended intermediate and beginner sessions. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I learned that I had forgotten. This helped me reinforce my beliefs. Each year I come back with a theme or concept. I take notes and when I get back to my office I print them out and display them. This year, one of the keynote speakers was Tom Flink who left me with these concepts:
· The minute you start learning you stop loosing.
· Great companies do two things; look for opportunities and build relationships.
· Leaders hide out in offices - winners have a true open door policy.
· You must connect head and heart to really make change.
· Exercise ethics - live their principles.
· Chase a big dream - stay humble.
· Identify who the trust leaders are in your company, and ask yourself if you can you be trusted.
Tuesday's Keynote speaker was Joe Calloway, author of four ground-breaking business books. The latest is "Becoming a Category of One." The concepts that impacted me from his presentation were:
· If you stand still failure comes to you.
· Great companies - great ideas - focus on one specific thing.
· What am I now going to do to put into place what I know I need to be doing?
· Greater danger to aim too low and hit it than to aim too high and miss it.
· How to differentiate yourself from your competition in such a way that you are seen as not just better than the rest, but in your own select category.
· Identify top performers and share their ideas.
· Plenty of people know what to do, but few are willing to do it.
· Can we win inside the box?
· Do your customers "love" doing business with you?
· Love them and they will love it .
· Have fun!
These concepts are now plastered all over my work area and will serve as reminders throughout the year and help in my development. They will remain until next year when I come back from Credit Congress with new ideas.