SOBCon: The Story Behind the Story

by Terry Starbucker
(originally appeared on Successful Blog on 21 November 2009)

Let me tell you a story…

In May 2007, there was a gathering at a Chicago hotel.

75 people hung out together for a weekend, and talked about their craft, their passions, and their lives.

SOBCon07 (photo by The Idea Dude)

It turned out to be magical. Trust was high. Candor was abundant. Egos were checked at the door. There was a depth to the dialogue that prompted many to declare how “life changing” it was.

There were no barriers to learning. And it was good.

One year later, it happened again. The magic returned, this time for over 100 people in a downtown place that welcomed them with hospitality and great food. More lives were changed for the better.

SOBCon08 (photo by Paul O'Flaherty)

Could it happen a third time? Yes. In May of 2009, 125 people felt it too.

The magic.

Where did this come from? Who was capable of conjuring up the ingredients of this potent mixture of trust, humility, and candor?

It had to be someone who lives and breathes these qualities. Who deeply believes in the basic generosity of the human spirit.

That’s where the magic comes from – that belief.

When that person entered the room at those three gatherings in Chicago, something wonderful happened. This person was the catalyst of a powerful enabling force that unlocked that same generous spirit from everyone there.

That’s really the “story behind the story” of this gathering we call SOBCon – the person who made it happen.

That person is Liz Strauss.

Liz Strauss at SOBCon09 (photo by JD Lasica)

Without her these gatherings would not have taken place. No magic, no learning, and no life-altering experiences.

Liz Strauss IS SOBCon.