I recently attended the Calgary Chamber iF series, a speaker session discussing the power of what could be. It was amazing, to say the least, and I left with new found drive and passion… to lose the fear and take action on things. For those of you that missed it, here is a synopsis of what I learned from their talks (and learned even more from the Q&A) … Next iF series is slated for November 10 as a full day event. Mark it in your calendar and GO. Patrick Lor, Fotolia Patrick is a very charismatic speaker, a guy I would love to take for coffee one day (or many days), though perhaps beer or wine would be better since he seems to have a lot of great stories. I especially related to his story about his hard-working immigrant parents who instilled in him the value of education. Though he didn’t quite follow the path his parents wanted, he still found great success. Patrick asked the question, “What if bad events had good outcomes?” Like Good to Great will say, the worst thing you can be is good; how will you become great? Hardship builds character and failure drives you to succeed. Adversity (play like the underdog) drives you to find unique ways to win, and failure allows to you reflect in order to be better, to be great. “Break the rules, be unconventional… Embrace risk, be uncomfortable.” Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn, University of Calgary Dr. Hemmelgarn is absolutely fascinating; an evident genius. Not only is she book smart, with a Masters Degree, Ph.D. AND and MD (wow, she would make all parents proud), she had the guts and determination, as well as the drive and perseverance, to answer iF questions surrounding kidney disease. She is fighting this like nobody’s business, succeeding in answering iF questions even after ten years of research. The lesson? Don’t give up. Be innovative, use the people and resources around you to achieve what you need. Ken Kristofferson, POPKollaborative Ken is one of those people that I bet I could learn from on a daily basis – hey Ken, want to be my mentor? Ken is an award-winning event professional and leader, and is the epitome of how hard work and perseverance pays off. Ken believes that every event is a celebration, and that, in nothing, you can create anything. His iF question was, “If I could be good enough, what would it take?” I’m going to repeat that for emphasis sake (pay attention): If I could be good enough, what would it take?” Ken sacrificed a lot to get to his dream; he sees obstacles as a problem to a solution, not a deterrent. His advice? Lots. Always have strength of conviction (as a business owner). Co-opetition, not competition (increase the pie, everyone will get a piece of it). “If I could be the change and make stuff happen, what would it take?” Bob McInnis, Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids Bob is a descendant of one of the oldest clans, the clan McInnis; he spoke of how everywhere the McInnis went, they left their mark… and he took it upon himself to leave his own mark in this world, for his kids and their kids. “It’s about choice.” What if we each take responsibility? Fear of being incapable limits us, but acts of generosity (and deliberate acts of kindness) actually increase health and well-being. A recent Inc. article reiterated this: “What generosity does is it focuses the mind on what you have, and not what you lack.” When asked if there was anything he could change, his answer was, “Start earlier.” So start now. It’s up to you.