Last week I attended Leadercast Live in Duluth Georgia, along with two colleagues from work.
We ate fantastically, we had one weird Uber experience after another, we walked and talked in downtown Atlanta, and most importantly, we got to know one another and learn about our personal approaches to leadership.
It was time well spent, and that doesn’t even factor in the conference itself!
Here are my key takeaways, thoughts, ideas and moments from each speaker:
If you don’t know why it works when it works, then you won’t know how to fix it when it breaks.
Success and failure require the same type of analysis. We should never be lulled into complacency when things are working, when we’re at the top of our game, when our teams are performing at a high level. We should always be looking for ways to improve, to manage risk, and to understand the inner workings of our organizations.
Dr. Caroline Leaf:
Change your mind, change your life.
Our mind is separate from our brain, and it has the power to change our physical health and performance if we take care of it. We live in an age where taking care of our mind is just as important as taking care of our bodies (perhaps even more important) and research shows that doing so can have a significant impact on our longevity and quality of life.
Lies about culture: if we empower people we lose control!
Think “freedom with a framework”. It’s far better to create clear expectations and empower people to use their strengths, skills and experience to the fullest than to stifle creativity and innovation because it’s easier to manage. If we are to truly live up to the mission, vision and values we publicly proclaim we need to set people free!
The only thing worse than criticism is silence.
We can’t avoid difficult conversations. Doing so – creating silence where courageous conversation should take place – is a step back in the relationships that are critical to us at home, at work, and in our lives (work and life are nearly inseparable).
Healthy teams embrace authenticity.
You are your own competitive advantage. Quit trying to be somebody else, and quit making other people be anything other than who they are. If you want a truly healthy team that not only gets along, but performs, you need to embrace being the best version of yourself FIRST!
Mistakes handled with care can be the oil in the engine of effective teams.
Want innovation and creativity on your team? Let people try things and fail, and most importantly, handle that failure WITH CARE. Not only will people continue to step up to share their best ideas, they will get better at it because they know they won’t suffer major setbacks for trying.
The ideal team player is humble, hungry and (people) smart.
Stop hiring, promoting and recognizing people for being less than an ideal team player; that means being humble, hungry AND smart. When we reward performance in any areas where all three are not present we create problems for ourselves, our teams and our organizations.
White space is the cold towel on the fevered brow of hallucinated urgency.
We are often the creators of our own urgency and our own sense of busyness, and it’s often all in our minds. We have to create space to think, to gain clarity about what is truly important not only in our work, but in our lives to regain control from the illusion that there is never enough time, that we can never catch up, and that we can’t do great things.
No one that works for you should be confused about how you feel about the work they do.
Be clear, be direct, but be human. People need to know where they stand and need to know on a regular basis. Waiting or neglecting this makes problems worse and can actually dissuade top performers.