Leadership

3 Lessons: Jennifer Tomb Talks Serenity, Now

By / Oct 11, 2016
“Please” and “thank you” may seem archaic, but these remain magical words for those who hear them.

Jennifer Tomb, CAE, the American Society for Microbiology’s assistant director of meetings and events, has a formula to keep calm and carry on.

“Please” and “thank you” are still magic words. These days, common courtesy seems like a bygone tradition, replaced by impersonal emails and abbreviated text messages. Take a page out of Emily Post’s book and brush up on etiquette. Speak kindly, show respect, be collegial, and express gratitude for a job well done. Never underestimate the power of politeness to inspire others. “Please” and “thank you” may seem archaic, but these remain magical words for those who hear them.

Get a little mud on the tires. It may not be practical to go completely off the grid, but it is important to disconnect—if only for brief moments of serenity. My itinerary for relaxation begins on a dirt road leading to a cottage on the Maine coast, where you can hear waves breaking against the rocks. I take these words of wisdom from a favorite county tune: “I’ve got the perfect place in mind. It’s in the middle of nowhere, only one way to get there. You got to get a little mud on the tires.”

Ask what MacGyver would do. Just months into my first meeting planner job, I returned from an event exhausted from managing what seemed a never-ending deluge of disasters. My supervisor explained that meeting planning essentially consisted of putting out fires and suggested a less stressful career if it was too much to handle. Years later, that tough love still inspires me to tackle challenges with a can-do attitude. Expect the unexpected, be prepared to adapt, and channel MacGyver’s creativity to navigate your way through the most daunting obstacles.

Associations Now Staff

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