So I have been thinking lately, what makes me a good planner? Why is it that everyone turns to me when something needs to be planned? Sure I am a meeting planner and educator by trade but what makes me do that? I fell into my profession by accident; I answered an ad in the newspaper for a job that looked interesting. Went through the interview process and low and behold got the job.
As a young woman a few years out of college, I struggled to understand my situation, the stakeholders and my employers. But I excelled at planning, setting and achieving goals and fortunately, the bosses recognized that. I sought out new experiences and more challenges at work. All of which forced me to be organized. And checklists well, I am the queen of that territory.
But what made me a “planner” to begin with? Perhaps as the youngest of five, I needed organization in my life. I needed to feel in control and in charge of something. I could make my brothers a mean fried bologna sandwich, (want fritos and a pepsi with that?) but that wasn’t enough for me.
And so I planned through college with an uncluttered shower caddy and the cleanest dorm room frig ever. After college; as a bartender in my early 20’s getting to work early so I could cut the lemons and limes and be prepared for the onslaught that came with working a bar. And in my career as an education manager, where planning was critical to success. Working with surgeons is truly like herding cats, the first time I heard that expression I didn’t really understand but if you think about it for a minute, it’s a tough job.
So a planner I am, currently running my own business, planning my parents 65th wedding anniversary party and organizing the next family vacation. I actually think it’s my siblings who are the smart ones, they just say, let Kathie do it because of course, I will.
About the Author: Kathie Niesen, CMP is a former Education Manager at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. She is the owner of KMN Meetings and Events. She is also a consultant with Coe Truman International.