Last month I made my first visit to the ISSA/INTERCLEAN® USA show. My four days spent in Chicago gave me the opportunity to sit down and discuss the challenges that my readers face on a daily basis.

While attending the educational seminars, I learned that my readers will take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about new polices and procedures. Outside Steve Ashkin’s presentation on green cleaning, I spoke with readers who were interested in implementing green practices, but were having a difficult time transitioning. To address this concern, Housekeeping Solutions will again target green initiatives in 2007.

I also met with various readers at the “All-Industry Networking Lunch.” There I quickly learned how much my readers love to benchmark their cleaning programs with those of other organizations. I also realized that they wanted to see more detailed product information, which is another thing we plan to address in 2007.

At the “Fifth Annual ISSA Women’s Forum,” I joined many of my readers as Marjorie Brody, author of “Market Your Magic,” addressed everything from personnel appearance to promoting yourself professionally. *Note to men: Don’t be deterred by titles like this. These meetings are open to you too!

Finally, I sat with thousands of other show attendees as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani discussed the points of strong leadership. Some highlights I took away from his presentation could relate to you: Leadership carries with it certain responsibilities — maintaining a department that mirrors an organization’s purpose; organizing a team of people who bring out the best in each other; taking the unexpected — yet correct — risks; and remaining accountable for the results of your work.