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> Arm yourself with the new tools and attitude for success

by Walter E. Tobin, ERA CEO
Source: The Representor Magazine – Fall 2017 Executive Commentary

As you prepare for the 2018 ERA Conference, I urge you to come with an open mind, listen to the presentations, go back home and put the new tools into action.


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As many of you know, the 2018 ERA Conference theme is “Tools of Our Trade — Constructing a Successful Future.” Conference Committee Chair Rick LaPiana is leading the way, along with our sub-committees, to come up with a full suite of topics to ensure attendees will leave the conference armed with specific TOOLS that will help them become more productive, improve sales, provide a stronger succession plan, help them hire millennials, etc. So, be sure to mark your calendars for Feb. 25-27, 2018, in Austin, Texas, for this CANNOT MISS EVENT!

Using NEW TOOLS can be both exciting and challenging. For many of us (or perhaps just me), change can be something that we want to publicly embrace while privately resisting. Change makes us do things differently and takes us out of our comfort zone. Yet, no one wants to appear to be a “fossil/dinosaur” who is not open to the new wave of technology, which helps us do things better, faster, smarter, and ultimately come out of the process as more productive members of the electronics industry.

The word “electronics” is the first word of ERA’s name. As such, we strive to keep up with technology developments. Recently, the staff of ERA National had to go through the process of moving its mail server to Google Suite, allowing us to connect, access shared calendars and unlimited storage, and ultimately manage our data securely and easily. This change was necessary to allow ERA National to be able to execute more reliably, faster and to become more productive as an organization.

Who would not want to sign up for this? Who would say: “No, thanks, we will remain as we always have been doing things — the old way!”

No one could/would walk away from these NEW TOOLS which help us become better.

So we dove into the process … a few small wins, and then, Murphy’s Law! Unexpected small issues/challenges that prompted some of us [well perhaps just me] to want to “stop the presses” and go back to the old system … the old ways of doing things … to go back to our (my) comfort zone! Give me back my Day-Timer planner where I had everything at my fingertips, all in my own handwriting! ARGH!

Thanks to the expertise and insistence of the ERA staff, along with help from a few Web and IT consultants, ERA National was able to cut through the Gordian Knot of change and emerge as an organization that can now use 21st century tools, communicate via Google Calendar, have everything connected and do things in a more high-tech manner.

This entire process was a clear example of how taking advantage of the “Tools of Our Trade” allowed us to be smarter, more productive and happier about using technology in a more pervasive manner. Even if the process was a bit scary for some of us (me), the end-result was well worth the angst.

As you prepare for the 2018 ERA Conference, I urge you to come with an open mind, listen to the presentations, go back home and put the new tools into action. If I can do it as a former baby boomer who now calls himself a perennial, it should be a piece of cake for the rest of you!

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