Leadership Starts With Passion and 10 Other Quotes on Leadership

Last week I was able to experience the 2017 Global Leadership Summit. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from a number of world movers and leaders. Every year the conference features a collection of talented speakers most of whom have successful TED talks, podcasts, books, and other mediums that they are already expressing their voice. However, this conference tends to be less about them and more about how to shape new leaders, encourage existing leaders, and provide new techniques, research, and stories to push and encourage leaders to take the next step. While I’m still reflecting on most of the things that were said, I would like to take the opportunity to share with you 10 key standouts for me.

If you don’t know why it is working when it’s working, you won’t know what will fix it when it breaks. – Andy Stanley,  Pastor & Author

This one seems pretty straightforward but most people forget to actually understand why they are being successful. They tend to look when things aren’t going great, but they don’t always take the time to reflect on what is going well. Which if they were paying attention it would help them stay in alignment at the first signs of trouble.

Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about – Andy Stanley, Pastor & Author

This one is a great reminder to me that you don’t really lose anything but just talking to other people. Not knowing doesn’t really cost anything, but finding out can really lead to amazing things. So get to know those dreams, stories, and ideas of the people around you.

Get real feedback. It’s better to say too much than too little. – Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

Sometimes it is easy to take the easy way out on feedback, but if you honestly seek real improvement, clarity, and transparency it is important to push past the “It’s good/fine” and get to the real feedback.

The most important factor in success is giving your work meaning. – Laszlo Bock, Author & Senior Advisor to Google

This is more just a good summary of a lot of other work in motivation study, similar to Start with Why by Simon Sinek or Drive by Daniel Pink. When we have purpose or meaning the effort and results of our work tends to be greater.

Lead by doing creative things yourself. Ask what is the most creative thing you have done? What is the most creative thing you could do? – Fredrik Haren, Author & Creativity Expert

Sometimes we get so caught up doing what we’ve always done or afraid to think outside the box that we don’t give ourselves to be the creative problem solving humans that we really are. This is a great step in giving yourself permission to think and be a little different.

Rush out there no matter what it is. – Juliet Funt, CEO WhiteSpace at Work

This was part of a larger story about how there is nothing in life more important than living in the now. This is especially true when there are priorities like family that you are missing for work that you can do tomorrow.

Most research looks at failure and says do the opposite. Logic says study the best. – Marcus Buckingham, Author & Founder – The Marcus Buckingham Company

To me this has always been one of my goals is research to look at what world class people are doing and figure out ways to make that accessible to everyone.  For a free bonus quote from Marcus at this conference he also said the goal of leadership should be to “Help me get better”.

Leadership is helping people to become who they’ve never been before. – Sam Adeyemi, Pastor & Founder, Daystar Christian Centre in Nigeria

I’m not really sure what to add to this other than, as leaders we have a responsibility to help set examples, paths forward, and visions to those who accept our leadership.

The difference between what you learn and what you do is fear. – Gary Haugen, Founder & CEO, International Justice Mission

There are a lot of times in life that we know what we should do, but we don’t. Most of the time this is out of fear. When you are willing to admit that you are afraid or when you take steps to confront your fear you are able to do some pretty crazy and challenging things. Sometimes the fears that are the hardest to overcome are the ones that are smaller but hidden fears. When in doubt be brave enough to talk through things with those whose counsel you trust.

Wouldn’t it be great if work was for love. If the purpose was to discover that which you love. – Marcus Buckingham, Author & Founder – The Marcus Buckingham Company

If I could summarize this conference into one quote it would probably be this one. There were so many amazing things and stories and things I probably won’t remember until I need them later. However, if there was one big point from the two days it was to invest in the things that matter and the things that you love. Life won’t always be easy just because you are doing what you love, life might not even be fair. But you were put on this earth for a reason and when you find out that thing, you don’t really have much choice but to spread the love. Whether that is writing, playing music, being a teacher, or something else entirely, you have a gift inside you that is waiting and longing to be shared with the world. Are you brave enough to go and find it?

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