Follow the Leader

To me, leadership skills are some of the most important qualities that a Red Velvet Events employee can develop and strengthen. I want my team to be great at their jobs today, but I also want them to be preparing for the higher-level jobs they will have tomorrow.

But how do you teach leadership, especially in a job that moves as quickly as ours do? Is it a skill that someone can develop over time, or is it one of those “You either have it or you don’t” traits?

I firmly believe that anyone can become a better leader. Here’s what I look for when recruiting future team leaders (notice I didn’t just say team members). I truly believe that every team member has the potential to rise to the occasion and be a leader; it’s just a matter of desire. Here’s how I encourage my co-workers to focus on in their day-to-day work:

Service First.

It’s crucial to remember first and foremost that we are in the service industry. Our goal is to turn our customers’ meeting and events goals into realities. We can’t ever forget this. If we do, the entire purpose of this business evaporates.

Stay Poised Under Pressure.

In the world of events, things can get beyond hectic. Something out of your control – whether it’s the weather, an unruly guest, catastrophic traffic, you name it – can wreck your plans in a heartbeat. That’s why you have to be able to come up with new plans on the fly without losing your cool. You may want to scream, but you have to be able to stay calm, let go of your worries, and keep on going. I tell people, “You have to be like a duck: floating on the water and looking peaceful, but underneath the surface, you’re paddling like hell.” Appearances mean everything because making your team stressed is going to result in more mistakes – and making your client stressed results in fewer clients!

Seek Out Learning.

You have to accept that you’ll probably make a mistake every single day. Just make sure they aren’t the same mistakes. I personally love figuring out new solutions to new challenges and not being afraid to admit what you don’t know – as long as you’re not stressing out your teammates or clients. Find the joy in seeking out solutions by putting yourself in challenging situations and being willing to fail first in order to succeed.

Succeeding as a leader in the world of events planning is so much more than “Fake it ‘til you make it.” I think you have to genuinely be passionate about service, be able to remain calm when things fall apart, and look for learning opportunities every day. This work is not for everyone, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. But if these three bullet points sound like you, congratulations: you just might have a great career in event and meeting planning ahead of you!