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Leadership insights: 3 takeaways from #GLS14

August 21, 2014
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Claudia and me with our friends Meredith and Tim

Recently, Claudia and I attended the Global Leadership Summit with our friends, Tim and Meredith Brunk. It was a wonderful two-day leadership conference filled with great speakers like Bill Hybels, Susan Cain, Tyler Perry, and Jeffrey Immelt, to name a few.

As I was reviewing my notes, I asked myself what my main takeaways were and, perhaps more importantly, what actions I was going to take on them.

Among all the insights and nuggets, I realized there were three things that really stood out to me and made the biggest impact. I wanted to share those with you in hopes that you’ll find them helpful as well.

My 3 main takeaways

1. We need to move forward

In leadership as in life, we need to move forward. We may not like the way times have changed and wish for the good ol’ days. However, we need to embrace our current reality. We can’t change situations and circumstances that already happened.

It’s only by embracing our current reality that we’re going to be able be truly effective and make the changes we want to make.

2. We can tell the truth AND keep the friend 

Quite often, we’re all faced with what Joseph Grenny calls “crucial conversations.” These are conversations where there are opposing opinions, strong emotions, and the stakes are high. And in these conversations, it’s easy to think we need to choose between telling the truth and keeping a friend. However, that’s a myth.

If we can first let the person know that we care about their goals and care about them as an individual, we can be fully honest in a way that will end up strengthening the relationship, not tear it down.

3. Introspection is fundamental

The speaker that surprised me the most (and was one of my favorites) was the CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt. Here’s a guy who runs a multi-billion dollar company that’s in something like 130 countries around the world. And while he seemed confident and direct, he also seemed really down to earth and like a genuinely nice person.

This was a surprise to me. I guess I thought the CEO of a big corporation like GE would be more cold and stiff in personality, not warm and relatable.

Throughout his talk, he mentioned things like, “Self-awareness is key in leadership.” And, “Leadership requires self-renewal and self-reflecting.” And while this wasn’t what his talk was about, it gave me a valuable insight into what makes a great leader.

Those are the three takeaways that stood out to me the most. I’m curious, have you been to any conferences or seminars recently and what were some of your biggest takeaways?

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6 Comments

  • Reply kentsanders August 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Michael, thanks for sharing these. I have been to the Leadership Summit several times, but haven’t been in a few years. They have always had great speakers – – people you probably wouldn’t hear anywhere else. Really love the point about self-awareness.

    • Reply Michael Good August 22, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Hi Kent, yeah I surprised by the level of speakers they draw. Some years even more than this one.

  • Reply Joseph Lalonde August 22, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Sounds like a lot of leadership wisdom was given at the event. Thanks for sharing these tidbits.

    • Reply Michael Good August 22, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Sure thing, Joe. We had a great time.

  • Reply Skip Prichard August 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I almost went to this and wish I had, but couldn’t make it work. It sounds like a terrific event. Thanks for sharing the highlights.

    • Reply Michael Good August 29, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Sure thing, Skip. It was a great time!

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