Leadership and Teambuilding in the Wedding Industry

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prior to opening my own wedding planning company, I held an executive leadership position at an international non-profit organization.  My job included event planning as well as training volunteer teams who were going into high-stress, war-torn countries to do humanitarian aid.  I learned so much about leadership and team-building while I worked there, both from hands-on experience and from the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars of intensive training that the organization invested in their executive staff.

As wedding planners and entrepreneurs, many of the same lessons apply.  We are responsible for running an event with many moving parts and many autonomous contributors, who must work as a team even if we don't work together on a daily basis or for the same company.  We are responsible for setting up our businesses in a way that is healthy, both physically and emotionally.  We are responsible for hiring and managing a staff (however large or small) that will promote our respective brands and work together to deliver quality service and products.  And on top of all of that we still have to plan weddings and also have a non work-related life.

This week I'll be sharing some of my observations on how the lessons I've learned on leadership and teamwork apply to the wedding industry and how we can be better at creating systems and companies that allow others to thrive and help us achieve harmony and balance in our lives.  I'll also be asking some tough questions that, if you step back and answer as objectively as possible, may help you see some weak areas that need to be improved or some habits that you need to scrap all together.

I don't have all the answers, but I have endured a series of "pressure cooker experiences" at an early age (some best shared over a glass of wine and not online) and some bumpy roads that have taught me lessons that many don't receive until much later in life.  While I don't wish to repeat any of those experiences or wish them on anyone else, I do want to share what I've learned thus far with you so that we can all be better at what we do.  

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