Almost every leadership training in the world promotes the benefits of getting employees “offsite” to focus on the work. The idea that stepping away from it all is not a new one and for those in the business of organizing “play”, it’s a lucrative one. As I have dabbled in planning corporate events, I could share dozens of tales about the executives who woke up late for the morning session because they were the last to leave the bar or the Keynote speakers whose late night antics led to an embarrassing delivery of remarks.
I’ve watched many a Sistah Girl get their groove on at open bars and dance like no one was watching while their office counterparts captured it all on video. For many, getting invited to the company offsite, retreat or business conference provides a first time opportunity to travel. An all expense paid trip to anywhere is a luxury that many of us don’t get to experience. So here’s where it gets tricky. You are never off the clock –even after the sun goes down. Your time is on their dime. I know …I know…. you are all shaking your heads saying but LA….girl that’s just common sense. Well as P Diddy told Forbes Magazine, “Common Sense ain’t that common .” Hell, the rapper Common ain’t Common Sense no more. (50 bonus points to anyone reading this who understands what I mean when I say that!)
Take advantage of the opportunity to travel for business and use the experience to:
1. Learn something new about your industry.
2. Network and meet other company players.
3. Raise your profile and be remembered as someone who is smart, engaging and/or interesting.
Hey… I’m not sayin’ don’t have ANY fun but if you do lose yourself….please be sure to:
1. Take your conference badge off at the club!
2. Hang out with co-workers you can bribe, threaten or swear to secrecy.
3. Get up early and visit the gym even if you don’t work out. If you arrive a few minutes late to the morning session, your fellow gym mates will vouch for you.