Dr. Angelou talked about her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, of her Uncle Willie and the lessons she learned from his life. She spoke of her amazing journey and the many "composers" that guided her path. Through all of it she kept getting back to us, the people in her audience, and relating her experiences to the importance we play to the people we work with, for, and around. She spoke for an hour and a half -- I could have listened for days more.
Some things she said that I wrote to remember included:
- In asking her sister (a lawyer) about the work of law firm marketers: "Oh, I get it. They compose peoples lives. They put peoples lives together. They help make some of the rocky path level, straighten the crooked road.
- Our lives will have influence we might never know
- Our work is a calling... much more than a career that cannot be measured but has immeasurable effect on the people around us.
- "I don't trust people that don't laugh. Be careful when a naked person offers you his shirt.
- 1043 in attendance... the largest ever. 83 marketers from California -- I found that pretty cool. 200 and some CMOs and directors, also pretty cool.
- The opening satirical video (YouTube link) was excellent at presenting a lot of the tongue-in-cheek hard parts of the evolution of bringing marketing to an industry where change has been difficult to be sure. In fact, it has been hard and I congratulate the leadership of this year's conference put the silliest parts on-screen. The title "Napkin Folder" has finally been said out loud to great laughter.