My Takeaways from the 2014 Leadercast


Today, I attended my third consecutive year of the Leadercast. Approximately 130,000 people attended the conference including both live and satellite audiences spanning over 750 locations around the world.

A one-day conference that has one of the best speaker line-ups, I have thoroughly been inspired by attending Leadercast. As I was reviewing my notes, I’d like to share some key points that were shared by all speakers. 

Andy Stanley, Leadership Communicator and Best-Selling Author

  • Beyond You leaders who fearlessly and selflessly empower leaders around them, as well as those coming along behind them. 
  • What is empowerment? How can I leverage my power for the sake of the other people? 
  • The value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away
  • The value of your leadership will ultimately measured in terms of how much of it was given! 
  • We celebrate generosity and selflessness
  • Get in the habit of making as few decisions as possible 
  • “You Decide.”
  • As your organizational authority increases, your organizational IQ decreases. 
  • Work for your team. 
  • What can I do to help? 
  • Empty Your Cup
  • If your leadership isn’t all about you, it will live beyond you.
Dr. Henry Cloud, Clinical Psychologist & Leadership Expert 
  • What drives and sustains our influence?
  • A boat has a wake on two sides
  • Relationships and results are two key factors into leadership. 
  • All influence is driven by trust
  • You will develop trust to the degree that people feel connected to them. 
  • It’s the connection that builds trust that comes basically from the human heart that wants to be known and understand. 
  • Do your people understand that you understand them? 
  • Leaders who go past themselves are leaders who give up the hardest thing – “control” (e.g., You are a control freak.) Leaders give up control.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Nobel Laureate & Human Rights Activist
  • 1984 – Won the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work in spreading peace, justice, and democracy 
  • Nelson Mandela’s number one characteristic: magnanimity 
  • Imagine a world in which human interests outweighed national interests.
  • A person is a person through other persons – you are you because of others.
  • I can never be who I ought to be, until you are who you are ought to be.
  • Lesson #1: Good leaders listen, serve others, and nothing to hide. They always hold themselves accountable and evolve to be better.
  • Lesson #3: You know when to retire which obviously excludes me.

Laura Schroff, Former Advertising Sales Executive and Best-Selling Author

  • I believe that anything is possible if you are determined, focused, and have a dream.
  • “The best way to find out to trust anybody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemmingway 
  • The bag is only brown paper and what is in there is love.
  • Having a trusted friend, for children like Maurice, is not always a part of their hard, complicated world.
  • All we have to do is open up our eyes and hearts and change their lives.
  • When you kindness and absolutely expect nothing in return, you receive the most beautiful thing.
  • A beyond you leader is about having the ability and willingness to throw a lifeline to a person in need.
  • We can teach people to be kind but we must lead by example.

Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009)

  • If you are a leader, model the behavior you want others to imitate.
  • When I got there (teaching) I found I wasn’t really prepared.
  • Nothing prepares you more than actual experience.
  • The people you are leading can teach you.
  • It was very important in the White House to have a staff that liked to laugh.  It relieves tension.
  • The rituals of family life are important in times of crisis.
  • To have the principles and ideals you want to live up to and not veer from those.
  • Popularity is fleeting.
  • Calm is contagious.
  • I didn’t know how much of a podium the First Lady has.
  • Things happen to you that you don’t expect…Figure out how to face those challenges as they come before you.
  • Use the things you didn’t want to happen to you to be constructive.
  • Treat people with respect…Don’t be mean.  Don’t be sarcastic.
  • “Children aren’t good at listening to their elders but they are very good at imitating them.” – James Baldwi

Malcolm Gladwell, Award-Winning Journalist and Best-Selling Author

  • Effective leadership is not explained by the deterrence theory but legitimacy
  • Three elements of legitimacy in leadership: 1) respect 2) fairness 3) trustworthiness
  • It matters not just what you say, it matters how you say it.
  • Unless you go about the business of enacting that in a way that seems fair and respectful and trustworthy, followers leave.
  • You must create a trustworthy system for dealing with other people in different systems.
  • When people disobey leaders, the question shouldn’t be what’s wrong with the people, but what’s wrong with the leaders.
  • Responsibility begins at the top. 

Randall Wallace, Screenwriter, Director, Producer, and Songwriter

  • We all know somehow, instinctively hard-wired to say, “Standing here at the risk of my life is more important than what happens in my little life.  Standing here in this life I’m standing here in the heart of God.”
  • Freedom had always been the holy grail of my life.  Jesus’ words, “You shall the trust and the truth will make you free” had always been one of my favorite verses.
  • Freedom and rules don’t go together well to me. One of the greatest rule for Christianity is to give.
  • Braveheart changed some things for me.  I was no longer able to plead poverty.
  • If you ever knew what preson held as God you would know something about that person.
  • In the large industrial cities, God is money.  Doesn’t matter how you got it.
  • In Hollywood, God is celebrity.  Whatever you did to get famous, even if its nothing, you’re praised.
  • Hollywood For Habitat For Humanity gave me a chance to get my hands dirty and my heart clean.
  • The secret was in giving in secret.
  • “Magnificent Obsession” – One of my favorite books
  • What happens to your soul when you give is what matters.
  • He gave to a stranger and the stranger gave to me.
  • We are the heroes. You must save this world.
  • Give in secret, stand up all, and when you give, give you all. 

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP AG

  •  Leaders have one thing perfectly in common, leaders have followers
  • All winners have a dream.
  • I had a feel for one thing – the customer.  It all begins and ends with the customer.
  • Blue collars working are rich on Friday night and broke on Sunday morning.
  • All the bees come to the honey.
  • Dream jobs aren’t easy.
  • Always be open and agile for every situation.  Every canned situation you have in your mind about meetings can always change.  Be aware of who has the power to make things change.
  • There’s two kinds of people in corporations – Those that when opportunity knocks they head out for opportunity.  And those who wait for the perfect opportunity.   When opportunity knocks, you have to be ready to go.
  • In business everybody so busy telling people what to do they forget to listen.  And people always listen.
  • High level of expectation, with an incredibly simple plan, became the driving force of this underground coming from behind to win the race.
  • The plan built around the desires of the people with a great goal is powerful.
  • I am petrified of leaders who don’t understand the power of celebrated victories.
  • Whatever your dreams are, double it.
  • This is a world where purpose matters more than ever before.
  • We’re either getting better, bored or broke.

 Simon Sinek, Author of Start With Why

  • I talk about being human and doing good for each other.  There is a high demand for this and that is depressing.
  • The military gives medals to people so others may gain.  In business we give bonuses to people when others do not gain.
  • We are social animals.  We can put a good person in a bad environment and they are capable of bad things.
  • Leaders set the tone.
  • We can’t solve complex problems by ourselves but in groups we are remarkable.
  • The only thing which we have control of is the environment inside the organization.
  • At the sound of violence it’s a mother’s instinct to throw themselves on the top of their child.
  • When danger threatens, it’s the leaders instinct to save their teams.
  • Mass layoffs to balance the books is a new concept.
  • We call someone a little because they go first.
  • There is only one characteristic any successful leader needs to have – courage.
  • Leaders want to see their people grow up, have opportunity and get an education…It’s taking care of others.
  • Officers eat last.
  • Leadership is a responsibility, not a rank.
  • When we’re willing to put the well-being of someone ahead of us, they will do it for you.