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Leadership Tips from The Global Leadership Summit

Leadership Tips from The Global Leadership Summit

By Tina Pettigrew

Last week Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of Ellevate Network, spoke to thousands of people at the Global Leadership Summit, and Ellevate Network was there to take it all in.

The Global Leadership Summit brought together thought leaders from across the globe, and we gained some key takeaways to bring back to work and our personal lives. We heard from the likes of Bill Hybels, founding and senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; Jim Collins, business consultant, author and speaker; Ed Catmull, president, Pixar and Disney Animation Studios; Adam Grant, author and professor at Wharton School of Business; Brené Brown, researcher and storyteller, and of course, Sallie Krawcheck-- and here’s what we learned:

The World Needs Leaders

Bill Hybels introduced the session by mentioning that when we think about what brought us somewhere (work, school, meeting, outing), we cannot deny the fact that somewhere along the line someone inspired us to make a move. We face the traffic, the crowds, the long lines and the difficulties—because a leader had an effect on us. The world needs people that get others moving.

Leaders Have Humility

Many people think of leaders as characteristically brave, bold or loud. But one of the less- often mentioned traits of an effective leader is humility.

Armed with enough humility, leaders opens themselves to the type of feedback and experiences that shape their decisions. A true leader recognizes that someone’s age, ethnicity, religious preference, gender, past experiences donot determine whether you should listen to them. Real leaders know enough to know that they still have a lot to learn, and seeks out people who can teach them new things.

Exceptional leaders form teams that they know will help them see their blind spots (everyone has an average of 3.4 of them, says Bill Hybel), and they embrace their team because they know they can’t do everything alone. They encourage the people around them to tell the truth because they know that they can only learn from their mistakes (as Ed Catmull illustrates). They create a team environment where it’s OK to be honest.

Leaders Are Resilient

It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up.

Jim Collins told a powerful story about a rock climber with what many people saw as an unattainable goal: to reach the top of a summit that very few people had before. In this friend’s training, Jim asked, “How do you find the strength to keep going when you just keep failing?” The friend replied with, “I’m not failing. I’m learning.”

Changing the frame in which you see your experiences is the key to staying committed to your goals and purpose. If you see every experience as educating your next move, then you will never fail. But you will learn from that experience and grow as a person and a leader. And eventually you’ll make it to the top of that summit.

Leaders Take Risks

Author Brené Brown broke down the difference between the people who achieve great things and those who live life just going through the motions.

She explained that in order to truly connect we must be vulnerable, be OK with the feeling of discomfort and be courageous enough to risk heartbreak. It is those people who put themselves out there and take risks other people won’t, who open themselves up to the opportunities that make life truly great.

Leaders Stay True to Their Values

What you say is what you say. But what you do is really what you stand for.

Sallie Krawcheck really emphasized this point when she encouraged us to live our values every day “as though our kids are watching.” Businesses that take every action with others in mind- those who value their internal and external constituencies- are those that will last and earn people’s respect.

A true leader is someone who stays true to what they believe is right, in times when others don’t know what’s up or down. True leaders move forward courageously with their values, even if it may not be the most popular decision at the time. Staying true to your values will pay off in the long run.

Leaders Embrace Challenge, Diversity and Adversity

True leaders know how to see difficulties, disagreements and challenges as opportunities. They understand that, as Ed Catmull puts it, “enhancing your ability to see” has an important role in innovation. They bring people to their team who are diverse and see the world in different ways, because differences and diversity are strengths (as Sallie Krawcheck shows us). And smart leaders look to build strong teams that can weather the storm and thrive.

When leaders join together to get better, everyone benefits. At the Global Leadership Summit we heard some of the most inspiring stories of courage, grit and greatness. We learned that the world needs leaders, and when we truly listen and learn, amazing things can happen.


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