Ignite MCN 2021: 10 Things I learned in my 10 years with MCN

10 Things I learned in my 10 years with MCN (IGNITE)


Unknown Speaker 00:00
And so to bring us home. Welcome Eric Longo. Eric is the Ed, the executive director of MC n. So in the past several months, he's awesome putting on this conference. In addition to putting together this Ignite DEAI I'm really excited to hear Eric's been an ad for at MC n for 10 years, has been integral in sort of keeping the engine of this community and this conference space moving. So really excited to welcome you to the Ignite stage today, Eric, take it away.

Museum Computer Network 00:39
Thank you. So believe it or not, but next month will be 10 years that had been with MC n. And so to mark the occasion, I thought it'd be fun and a bit outside of my comfort zone to give my first Ignite ever. So that's this title of my slide, the emphasis being on quite a bit more, so you're ready. I love this quote, because you may not always have a plan, but you can always reflect back on how you got there. Today I'd like to talk to you about how I've managed work without a clear sense of direction early in my career, wanting to find my professional Mojo in my early 40s, which led me to MTN 10 years ago, this is what I was up to the year that Museum Computer Network was founded. Oh, look at this picture. Many predicted astonishing things for my future. But I can tell you that none were about me driving a fire truck. The truth is, I never felt like I had a vocation a calling a sense of purpose. I used to worry about what I was supposed to do with my life. And what you're looking at here is what the pressure of not having a plan made me feel. So what do you do when you're 18 and have no clue what to do with your life? You go to law school, of course, hey, why not? That's what I did. This is my law school at the Sorbonne in Paris. The truth is, it was a great education. And it served me well. Five years later and barely 24 I landed my first job as a lawyer. It lasted two years. I quit having no idea what I do next, but I knew that somehow i'd manage and I did throughout my 20s and 30s. I worked a slew of odd jobs, from furniture design, to advertising to publishing to real estate, even a gala other bar, bringing me something something with me of each experience into my next gig. Eventually, in 2001, antenna audio offered me a job mentioned the audio guide program at the match. I fell in love with the place and the work of museums suddenly work became interesting and meaningful. For the first time in my career, I felt I belonged and I could see myself grow into sector. At the same time, I volunteer with the chaplain foundation in New York as a product of consultants for a bunch of nonprofits. This experience sparked my interest in nonprofit work and extended by business horizons in areas I didn't have exposure to purpose had finally found me. The advantage of not having a clear sense of direction is that you end up opening yourself up to serendipity, new opportunities and a bunch of new professional connections. I was no longer afraid of those dreaded networking events. serendipity gives you space to chart your own path. Life is a process of transformation like having natural Spanish mouth hair, for example. This was taken to New Orleans for the record. But joke aside to me self transformation is the capacity to embrace yourself, warts and all, and the ability to reinvent yourself constantly. For years a compartmentalised work before realizing that my career was not separated from the rest of my life. It was an extension of who I am. Ultimately, it's our sense of purpose that comes through and that can take a while to find it took me 20 years. Here's another thing, sales used to scare the daylights out of me. So when intenta promoted me to head of business development, I went with it, getting fired, checking your project, things, those things are not the end of the world. We have to trust that whatever comes our way we can handle it. So this is who I had become when I came to MTN 10 years ago. I'm going to cheat on this site because I have nothing else to say. But this is me in the Atlanta subway november of 2011. And for those of you who were around back then what a horrid logo that green. Over the past 10 years, I had the privilege of working with 52 amazing board members, and countless more volunteers in addition to getting to know hundreds of members of this amazing community we call musetech. I've learned so much from each of you and forgot a heartfelt thank you. Recently, it dawned on me that work at a meta level is really about figuring out how to get along with other people. We go through different jobs and roles throughout our careers. But our only job ultimately is to make shit happen with other people and to do that you need to know how to play well with others. I also learned to embrace ideas I found challenging or even disagreed with. As a leader of a community organization, it's important to welcome divergent views and perspectives. This requires a great deal of listening and embracing differences. Personally, I found that changing my mind was not as hard as I thought and more often than not well worth the effort. Working with so many volunteers at NC n over the years my role has been to empower and support others, how we convey ourselves the energy with which we interact with others, impact our work environment and those around us be interested in others inspire them to do their best. You all think you got it bad, bad working remotely over the past two years. Pure try 10. I've been working from home since day one. Yet no matter how hard it tries, and trust me, I have I got a sleek desk. No matter how hard I try, my home would never be in office, but I make it work. Yet the isolation of working remotely made me realize that work is fundamentally collaborative, we produce our best work in collaboration with others. And that part I do miss. But you guys, DMC and community have inspired me to do my best work remotely for a decade. Lastly, we must expect the unexpected. For all we know we might find yourself in a global pandemic, and maybe all of you will find yourselves working from home alongside me. But you see, I get the last word. But you see, here's the thing about the community. We're a passionate, generous, thoughtful and talented bunch who did museums and technology that's brushos cherish it. And whether I had a plan for MC and or not, it's always been about you not about me.

Unknown Speaker 06:13
Thank you, Eric. The only job we ever really have is to play well with others. I mean, that's so true. Those of us who are caring for young people, like that's what we're trying to teach them. And that's what we're trying to do as adults too. So thank you for that insight, Eric, and thank you all. Thank you so much. So thank you to all the Ignite speakers today. I feel like I got to know each of you a little bit better. And I got to think about something that I may not have otherwise, thanks to the careful thought that you each put into your presentations. So thank you for being here today. And for all the attendees. Please do chime in and reach out to tonight's speakers to share your enthusiasm for their presentations after this talk to I'm sure we'll all be reading the Zoom chat after this, but be great to connect with people one on one outside of this space as well too. So that's Ignite, thank you all so much. It's gonna be an amazing six weeks to see how these thoughts kind of get threaded over the course of the conference. And I'm really excited to keep connecting with all of you here today.