Leadership Masterclass

Have you noticed that ‘masterclasses’ have become one of the latest victims of linquistic inflation.  I recently got this invitation out of the blue and into my email inbox. I know the esteem in which I am held by some in the blogging community – so I guess it was only a matter of time. Anyway, I’m open for suggestions as to how to respond. For those of you that may be alarmed that this may have gone to my head, be assured that -even though it has gone to my head – I will not desert my duty here, conducting as I am, the very online leadership masterclass it is your privilege to be reading through these troubled times. 

Dear Dr Nicholas Gruen,

I am a conference producer for c|m|s. I am currently organising the 2008 Leadership Masterclass, an event which will bring together business leaders to hear from experts on subjects such as ‘Leadership in a Downturn’ and ‘Preparing for the Inevitable Upturn’. The Leadership Masterclass will involve CFOs, CEOs and Managing Directors of leading businesses and major companies.

I would like to kindly invite you to deliver a presentation at the 2008 Leadership Masterclass – Getting Ahead in a Downturn. I have attached an invitation containing further information

To give you an overview of c|m|s, our most recent conferences have been produced for Managing Partners from leading law firms. In 2008 some of our speakers have included David Childs, Global Managing Partner Clifford Chance; David Fagan, Chief Executive Partner Clayton Utz; Danny Gilbert, Managing Partner Gilbert & Tobin; Robert Milliner, Chief Executive Partner, Mallesons Stephens Jacques. We also run events for the IT sector and courts technology. This Leadership event will bring together delegates from a range of professional services.

I hope that you will consider this invitation as it would be wonderful to have you involved in this worthwhile event.

Kind regards,

Conference Producer
C | M | S [Chilli Marketing Solutions] | Conferences – Summits – Training |

In summary, I would advise you all, not just to show leadership through the downturn (easier said than done of course) but also to prepare for the upturn.

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Ken Lovell
Ken Lovell
13 years ago

Is this what used to be known as a ‘conference’? I got a few such invitations in years gone by; my practice was to reply that I would be delighted subject of course to my usual fee. That usually meant I heard no more.

13 years ago

Masterclasses in music performance were situations where an acknowledged master (e.g. someone like Menuhin if you were a violinist – and no – I played keyboards) would rip the hell out of you for every little thing you did that was less than perfect. And that was the point. You weren’t there to get pats on the back, you were there to understand what you could do to get better.)

Aaaah, but these are the days of &quit;Masters by coursework" rather than thesis (I think a more accurate term would be post-graduate diploma!), so what can you expect?

13 years ago

Dr Nick,

(Hi everrybody!)

In the past five or so years, “conferences” have become the plat du jour for half-dodgy businesspeople (and yes – they do exist!) to create and own credibility among people who like to be told what they already think. In general, the people behind them NEVER pay those who present – don’t you know it’s all about the glory of telling your peers what the truth is, Nick?

Conferences (and to a lesser extent, workshops/seminars) have become just another medium through which people with no particular skills other than fast-talking generate credibility for their business operations. You’re completely right in requesting a fee. But they don’t work that way – it’s all about contra-deals (ie, we don’t want to spend money, but we’d like you to attend. You don’t mind if we charge people $1000 to attend and listen, do you? No, you don’t get a cut.)

Take a look at who’s behind any given conference you’re invited to attend or present at. London to a brick the company is a “professional” *splutter* conference organiser that has hooked up with a publishing company to which “exclusive” coverage rights have been promised.

It’s a lurk. Avoid it.