Key Takeaways from the World Leaders Conference

Recently I was lucky enough to attend the World Leaders Conference at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL for two days. This event was heaven for any person interested in leadership, especially servant leadership. Among the top-notch speakers at this event were former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Tim Sanders, Erwin McManus, Craig Groeschel, Bill Hybels, Ken Blanchard, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Tom Mullins, and Tony Dungy. Wow, what a group! I wrote down every nugget of wisdom and insight that I could from these great leaders and consultants. I thought I’d share a few of the highlights here:   

Tim Sanders:

  • Love your people. Love improves the performance of your people. Show them compassion by meeting their needs.
  • Become a compassionate leader through: friendliness, empathy, and generosity.
  • Understand that everyone has a gift, and give people permission to fail.

Erwin McManus:

  • There is nothing more powerful than a life lived with intention.
  • How we relate to our environment affects what we design. Be intentional about selecting your environment.
  • How can I turn the water of my life into the wine of who God created me to be?

Craig Groeschel:

  • In order to grow, we need to increase our pain threshold.
  • What painful decision are you unwilling to make?
  • If you’re not hurting, you’re not leading.

Bill Hybels:

  • Nothing fires up your team more than a fired up you               
  • Self-leadership:
    • Am I sure of my calling?
    • Am I growing?
    • Am I joyful?
    • Am I becoming more like Christ?

Tony Blair:

  • Servant leadership starts from a position of humility.
  • Leadership is a privilege; it’s never a right.
  • Cynicism is debilitating and corrosive.
  • There is a lot of good created in the world by committed people.

Ken Blanchard:

  • Great leaders are great because people respect and trust them, not because they have power.
  • People with humility don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less often.
  • Servant leadership is about love and bringing out the best in people.

Henry Cloud:

  • Servant leadership is the service of bending your knee and developing your under-developed areas.
  • De-railed leaders do not connect with or understand the people they are leading.
  • How emotionally attached are you to some things that you need to let go of in your life?
  • We often get de-railed by many of the same patterns of behavior in life.

Patrick Lencioni:

  • Too many leaders think doing the simple things are beneath them. They have three biases: sophistication bias, quantification bias, and adrenaline bias.
  • Leaders must make their organizations healthy: less politics & confusion, low turnover of good people, and high productivity.
  • The health of your organization is what helps you tap into the knowledge of your organization.
  • How to make your organization healthier:
    • Build & maintain a cohesive leadership team.
    • Create clarity.
    • Over-communicate clarity.
    • Reinforce clarity.

Tom Mullins:

  • True leaders create wins for their people and celebrate those wins with their people.
  • When you affirm and celebrate people you lift them up.
  • Celebration: demonstrates that you value your team, builds team morale, increases retention and productivity, and serves as a great recruiting tool.

Tony Dungy:

  • Know yourself, where you are going, and how to get there.
  • Expectations. Execution. No excuses. No explanations.
  • Stay focused on fundamentals.
  • A leader creates a winning team by helping the team succeed.
  • Sometimes as a leader you need to be willing to go against the grain.
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