For the third year in a row I had the pleasure of attending the Leadercast leadership seminar at a local simulcast location. This year I attended in Daytona Beach, FL with about 80 other local leaders. The event was fantastic, as usual.
I don’t get to attend as many leadership events as I’d like to, but I always take something away from the ones I do. This year’s Leadercast was no exception. These were the highlights for me.
We heard some amazing stories at Leadercast. Nearly every speaker talked about a person who had changed his or her life. Andy Stanley told about a successful business owner who went out of his way to mentor him in his formative years. Laura Schroff told about a chance meeting with a homeless boy that changed both of their lives forever. Perhaps the most inspiring was Randall Wallace’s story of his journey to Scotland to find out more about his family, which eventually led him to write the movie Braveheart.
In each instance, the speakers all had great points to make. But their points wouldn’t have had nearly the weight without the stories that accompanied them. It’s easy to make a point. It’s more difficult – and much more powerful – to include a story that drives the point home.
We Can’t Lead if We Can’t Listen
One of the main these from Leadercast was the importance of trust as the basis for effective leadership. Listening is the key to building both individual and corporate trust. SAP CEO Bill McDermott commented on the importance of finding out what is important to any new team before implementing sweeping changes. Henry Cloud shared a brilliant quote: “You understand people when they understand that you understand.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu mentioned that good leaders listen to all voices, even the ones of those who disagree. When it comes to building trust, slow is fast and it starts with listening.
Real Power Comes from Empowering Others
When it comes to legacy, Andy Stanley mentioned that precious little will be remembered about us apart from what we give to others. That’s why it’s important to use the influence we have to empower others. And it’s important to start now, instead of waiting until we feel our influence is significant. Simon Sinek told how individuals who become leaders are the ones who sacrifice for others instead of looking for the easy way out. Sacrificing for others means that corporate budgets, disposable time and sometimes even personal safety take a backseat at times.
Leadership is truly a buzzword with new books, presentations and programs hitting the streets every day. But at the end of the day, much of what there is to say – and hear – about leadership isn’t new. However, it is relevant since the need for quality leaders is as evident today as it’s ever been. Will your leadership outlive you? Only time will tell, but this is a great place to start.
If you attended Leadercast 2014, what did you learn?
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.