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Leadercast 2015 Take-Aways

Business and ministry leaders from Ottawa raised over $10,000 for The Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation on Friday and united with leaders from Atlanta, Georgia and across the world for Leadercast 2015.

Ottawa leaders had the opportunity once again to network and develop leadership skills at the Hellenic Meeting & Reception Centre, (Ottawa site hosted by OTUS Group). I am an advocate for personal development as I believe there's always something more to learn; we've never "fully arrived".

I grew up in a home where personal growth was encouraged so I'm a big fan of this annual conference - Plus, I get to share it with my Dad and mentor, Bill Stevens, who co-emceed with me for our third year in a row.  


Although everyone would have their own person "Take-Aways" from Leadercast this year, the theme was evident: "The Brave Ones". Each speaker spoke about the courage it takes to be a leader and here is a brief 're-cap' from each of them and how they defined the word "Bravery"...





Andy Stanley -
Andy (one of the world's most effective communicators) re-defined BRAVERY as "Clarity around and unreasonable commitment to what should be." He said to ask two questions before you commit your time and effort to something:
Question 1 (a head question): What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?
Question 2 (a heart question): What breaks my heart?
When you know without a doubt what you were made for, don't let anything else steal your focus.

TWEETable line: "Bold leaders refuse to be cowed by "how".

CMDR Rorke Denver -
To exhibit BRAVERY you have to first attack fear. CMDR Denver used his experiences and stories as a Navy SEAL Commander to help leaders understand what is needed to stay focused, make adjustments, and find your rhythm ('The Harmonic Gate' is when you achieve the rhythm and movement God intended for you.)... So good!

TWEETable line: "Choose the size of your ruck (the pack soldiers carry on their back) wisely." No matter the size of load you allow, you will fill it.


Bill McDermott -
Bill's talk focused on the idea that BRAVERY is making bold moves and setting bold goals that others may find impossible.

TWEEETable line: "Create a culture of seeking risks."

Malala Yousafzai -
I had read the book "I Am Malala" written by this 17-year old Noble Peace Prize winner and it captures not only her story of standing up against the Taliban to fight for education but also the situation and unrest this extremist group brought to Pakistan. I was completely blown away and brought to tears by the wise words Malala shared and the BRAVERY she demonstrated (Malala and Mayor Giuliani were the conference high-points for me!)
Malala defined BRAVERY as "not waiting for someone else to do it!" Bravery is a human trait - it's in all of us. And if we don't Stand Up and Speak Up now, change will come much later... or maybe never.

TWEETable line: "Like in the movies, there's a villain but there's a hero too and there's always a happy ending." #Hope


Peyton Manning -
Peyton spoke very well and had a lot of practical points. He used his own experience, as a rookie and now the NFL's only 5-time MVP and 14-time Pro Bowl selection, to encourage leaders to get a mentor: someone who will tell it to you straight when major dicisions need to be made.
- Draw a Base Line for your organization.
- The Leader's personal goals need to line-up with the team's outcome.
- Search out Game-Changing moments.

TWEETable line: "Anyone who waits for someone else to take action becomes and 'follower' automatically."

Seth Godin -
Art. From Seth's "Purple Cow" book, he inspired leaders to do something that stands out among the rest. ART isn't just painting, it's creating something no one has done; something worth talking about. And if you combine that with compassion, you can help others make a difference too. And don't be afraid to stir the pot a bit and step out of the status quo.

TWEETable line: "Tension is when change happens."

Ed Catmull -
This was a strong moment in the day for creative-type people. As the co-founder of Pixar Animation, Ed shared stories of the films that made it and the films that didn't. He told us that EVERY great Pixar film is terrible in it's first draft, and about the time a staff member accidentally deleted Toy Story 2 ... AND the back-up file!! In that situation, Ed's teaching moment was NOT to fire this employee but instead encourage mistakes. Your job as a leader should be to create a safe environment for taking risks and making mistakes. It's better to fix the errors than try to prevent them altogether.

TWEETable line: "Solving problems isn't part of the job, it IS the job."


Mayor Aja Brown -
BRAVE leaders serve for the purpose and not the praise. BRAVERY is knowing how to not let the fear of failure overcome.

TWEETable line: "Never point out problems until you're ready to offer a solution."

Mayor Rudy Giuliani -
In Rudy's re-telling of 9/11, the strongest message I heard was to BE PREPARED. Making something as routine as possible takes the fear out of it. Here are some qualities Giuliani put in to practice while he led New York City:
- Have strong beliefs/goals
- Be an optimist
- Put fear where it motivates you to work harder
- Prepare
- Practice teamwork
- Communicate your ideas to others

TWEETable line: "To make a change, you first have to change the rules."

As you can see, this was a day jam-packed with motivation and practical advice for being a leader worth following. Now that we have a clearer idea of what it means to lead BRAVELY, I'm looking forward to Leadercast 2016, scheduled for May 6, 2016, with the theme "Architects of the Future". 

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