An Audience with the Dalai Lama

Gail Davis, 10 May 2011

Several members of my team and I attended the 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum yesterday at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) McFarlin Auditorium. We were there to watch his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, receive the SMU Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree. It was an experience to remember.

First, the process of getting to our seats. Due to security concerns we were notified we had to be in our seats 30 minutes early as the doors would be locked and no cell phones or purses would be allowed. Do you know how weird it is to go anywhere without your cell phone these days? It turns out President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, were also in the audience.

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The Best Email Tip I've Ever Heard

Gail Davis, 05 May 2011

Email tipThe IASB Conference proved once again why this industry matters. Speakers – even on unexpected topics – can inspire, expand your thinking or just give you a quick tip that will change the way you work every day.

Case in point: one of the speakers we heard was Laura Stack. A productivity pro.

Just as I was thinking that productivity pro was a new name for time management speaker, Laura gave me take home value that was worth the price of admission.

Here it is: I currently have 26,000 emails in my inbox. It’s overwhelming. I’m sure many of you struggle with the same challenge. Laura does not agree with my approach so she gave me many tools for changing my methodology to email.

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Don't Just Book a Speaker, Create a Revolution

Gail Davis, 09 March 2011

Has the Give Back tour has come to an end? Or has it?

I went to my monthly EO meeting last night. People were telling me I looked great, asking if I had lost weight. My good friend, Sam Lam, the plastic surgeon, lingered and said, “You look really good.” That is always a great feeling!

The truth? My weight is up and I have not had time for any plastic surgery.

It hit me what they were seeing was me radiating after giving back. Sure it was exhausting, but I was on a high from what I knew had been an incredible week.

When Andre arrived in town, I thought he was going to give nine speeches. He did so much more!

I want to give you a run down of what Andre did during this week. However, before I do, let me plant a seed for all you event planners and organizers out there. “Social Responsibility” is a big deal today.

Some say the younger generation will determine where they work based on the company’s commitment to social responsibility. More and more events are becoming experiential. So when you read this run down, I encourage you to think about how your group could create similar impact by giving back.

Okay, here is the recap.

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Kids of the Suburbs Take Note

Gail Davis, 07 March 2011

Andre Norman takes his message to the suburbs!

Up until now, I have heard Andre speak to the disenfranchised - audiences everyone knows need encouragement. Then he came to the affluent Dallas suburb of Colleyville, Texas.

Proving he can read audiences and adjust his message, Andre made some interesting observations when he came to Colleyville. Lots of suburban kids have dads missing-in-action as well. Oh, they live in the house, but they are gone on business. Or when they are at home, they often have a smart phone stuck to their ear. He also mused that young kids living in 4,000+ square foot homes must feel incredible pressure to grow up one day and do as well if not better.

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Visiting Their Cells Emotional. Energy.

Gail Davis, 05 March 2011

Let me begin by saying thank you to everyone who came to the WOSC event on Thursday night. It was another amazing stop on the “Give Back Tour.”

It’s been a busy few days. Physically, intellectually, emotionally. When the alarm clock went off on Friday morning, I was not sure I could handle another visit.

So for a moment I considered skipping out on the last stop in Oklahoma.

The stop was the Granite State Reformatory.

Then I was thought about how much Andre was giving back. I mean, if he could get up and go again, I could do it. I got ready.

This was serious stuff. A real prison. A real wall. Images of every prison movie you have ever seen came flashing into my mind. I was very nervous.

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Sex, Mentors and Thank You ... An unexpected sort of day.

Gail Davis, 03 March 2011

When Andre first approached me about working together, I told him I would need a reference. He put me in contact with a Catholic Bishop in Boston. I remember the conversation well. He told me Andre had a gift to know his audience and how to present the message in a way they would understand.

More than 300 kids filled the Hollis High School Auditorium today. The students may have expected an inspirational story of how a prisoner gained his freedom, but instead, they got some advice they can all put to use.

At Andre’s request, the boys were on one half of the auditorium and the girls on the other.

First up on the agenda: self respect and why waiting to have sex has lots of pluses. I started to squirm. Maybe it is because my mom and dad were next to me.

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