I was able to attend my fourth Leadercast seminar earlier this month. This year I attended a simulcast in Orlando, FL. As always, it inspired me with both new and familiar ideas. The theme this year was bravery. Here are some of my key takeaways – and you can also catch up on the social conversation with the tags #leadercast and #thebraveones.
Bold Leaders Don’t Wait Until They Know the All the Answers
Author Andy Stanley explained that while vision AND strategy are both important aspects of leadership, vision always comes first. “Clarity around and unreasonable commitment to what should be,” precedes every bold endeavor. But “how” always comes later on. In fact, the quickest way to stifle a vision is to insist on knowing all the answers before getting started. You usually only figure things out one step at a time.
You Will Face Adversity
Former Navy SEAL commander Rorke Denver admitted that the only response to fear that works is to face it. Avoiding pain won’t allow you to get to the final destination. That’s a tough decision for each individual to make. But it doesn’t have to be a solo experience. Bravery is much easier with a team around you.
Bravery is YOUR Responsibility
Nobel Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai delivered perhaps the bottom line for the entire event: “It is our duty to speak out for what is true and right.” Malala has unparalleled credibility on this sentiment since she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban for speaking out on behalf of education rights for all children. She continues her work as an advocate, but also as an encourager. “We should not wait for someone else,” she said. “Be brave wherever you are. Bravery has no limits. Stand up. Speak out.”
It Takes Courage to Create Change
Peyton Manning famously said that “Anyone who waits for someone else to make the change is automatically a follower.” If no change is required, there’s no need for leaders. Unfortunately, change is difficult, unsettling and unpredictable. Therefore, Manning added that leaders should expect – and even learn to thrive in – situations with ambiguity.
A Good Team is Better than a Good Idea
Pixar president Ed Catmull shared that a bad team will ruin a good idea, but a good team will take a bad idea and turn it into a good one. Therefore, we must develop our teams. We can do this by removing barriers to collaboration and sharing in team (rather than individual) successes.
We’ll Never Be Fully Ready
One of the themes throughout the event was that preparation not only greatly enhances the probability of success, it replaces fear with a measure of confidence. However, Seth Godin reminded everyone that many times we cannot be fully ready for the change we seek to crate. Many new ideas, products and technologies were built before the “market” was ready for them (such as the fax machine, printing press, automobiles or Apple products). To create any such change means accepting the possibility that it will fail.
Leaders Must be Optimists
This wasn’t a new sentiment at Leadercast. Both Jack Welch and Condelizza Rice noted the need for optimists at previous Leadercast events. This year, Rudy Giuliani explained again that no one lines up to follow a pessimist. Napoleon once claimed, “Leaders are dealers of hope.” If there is no reason to hope, there is no reason to follow.
If you attended Leadercast this year, what was your biggest takeaway?
Nathan Magnuson is a leadership consultant, coach, trainer and thought leader. Receive his new ebook Trusted Leadership Advisor by subscribing to his website or follow him on Twitter.