Build Leaders Worth Following – Our Thoughts On Leadercast

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Written by Matt Berringer

May 12, 2016

Every year, over 100,000 leaders from around the world gather for a full day of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers sharing their insights, wisdom, and ideas on what it means to be a leader worth following. The event is called Leadercast and I’d encourage everyone to experience it at some point. After hearing from so many speakers, you’ll walk away with many nuggets of wisdom to help you lead more effectively in your role at work, at home, and in your community.

This year, Nxtbook Media had the opportunity to send a small group of Nxtbookers to attend. I sent everyone in with a challenge to bring back a take-a-way or nugget that we could share on this blog. It’s interesting to see what each person found encouraging or helpful in their own personal journey towards becoming a leader worth following. Some are as simple as a quote, while others explained more about concepts that resonated with them. My hope is that you read through everyone’s thoughts below and find some truth to help you become a better leader.

“Be an influence by showing others what’s possible.”

While there were many wonderful speakers at Leadercast, Kat Cole, Group President of Focus Brands, talked about the importance of building leaders that are worth following. When you can focus on the right thing, you can change everything and show others what’s possible in your organization and in your community. – Beth M.

“What do you come to work to do?”

My takeaway was from Andy Stanley. He was talking about the need for a vision. He asked the question, “What do you come to work to do?” If the answer is that you come to work to do your job, there’s a problem. You should come to work to fulfill the company vision…to be the solution to a problem. – Jeremy S.

My takeaway is on the subject of priorities, as presented by Kat Cole. She advised, “focus on things that are small enough to change, but big enough to matter.” I think this works whether trying to change the focus of a company, a department, or your own personal work and work habits. Breaking a problem down into manageable parts that you can concentrate on makes your task less daunting! – Beth N.

Vision is a mental picture of what could be. Not about how, but it is the what. It is the preferred future, fueled by a conviction of what it should be. The trick in setting vision is that it is small enough to change but big enough to matter. There can be only one priority. And focusing on the right thing actually impacts everything. – Rox E.

Dr. Henry Cloud spoke about the The Power of the Other and explained how people around you drive your performance. This is an awesome takeaway and reminds us that we can’t do it alone. – Scott C.

Baréz-Brown suggested unleashing creative potential by getting yourself off of auto-pilot. You need to mix yourself up and do things out of your ordinary routine to become truly present and observant of your surroundings. Small curveballs you can throw at yourself include taking a different route to work, ordering a meal out of your norm when out to eat, or sitting different places around the office. It’s only when you’re off auto-pilot that you can tap into your subconsious which is where creativity lives. Also, don’t just think things, do them. Make them real. When you make things real, you get direct feedback, are able to experiment and make adjustments, and your subconsious becomes primed for when it happens again. It makes me more apt to experience things and challenge myself. – Zach B.

Many of us, myself included, found ourselves encouraged by Andy Stanley’s opening talk about learning to harness clarity. This was the biggest take-a-way for me from Leadercast. While many people want integrity, the ones that we follow give us clarity. Throughout history, there are examples of both powerful, wonderful leaders and powerful, terrible leaders that had a clear message. Both type of leaders had followers. Both changed the world. You may have the greatest, most life-transforming vision of the future, but if you can’t state it simply and clearly, it may never gain any traction.

“Clarity is powerful and results in influence, which is the essence of leadership.”

While I learned something from all of the speakers, I keep coming back to Andy Stanley’s message – “People value Integrity, but follow Clarity.” When I think more about this principle, it makes sense to me that others would follow someone who can clearly define a shared vision. Andy’s definition of vision resonated with me too, “The mental picture of what could be fueled by the conviction of how it should be.” – Todd R.

“The definition of leadership is the ability to get people to follow you.”

This concept has really resonated with me in terms of how much clarity we need to give people if we want them to follow. The definition of leadership is the ability to get people to follow you which would in turn mean that clarity is at the very core of leadership. If we can clearly make people understand the vision of Nxtbook Media – Exist to Inspire – this should translate to that vision being evident in every interaction we have, whether that’s with each other, our customers, our community, our families, or beyond. – Alicia B.

The other concept that has really gotten me thinking was presented by James Brown and was around “Depth Before Height”. It seems like a very basic concept but it really opened my eyes to thinking about how important the foundational elements of the company are to our long term success and ability to grow. The depth of the foundation truly determines the height of success. If you haven’t built the foundation deep enough you can only go so high. – Alicia B.

Our day at Leadercast left us motivated and encouraged to be the #ArchitectsofTomorrow. I’ll leave you with a few more words from Alicia, as it wraps things up nicely:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of leadership and that you don’t need a title or specific position to be a leader. We lead in so many indirect ways every single day. We lead by example from the way we interact with people to the words we use to speak to them.”
Well said. We’re all leaders in our own way. How will you choose to be a better leader today?

(photo source)

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