Learn About Leadership
Most of us know we’re not perfect. But too often as leaders we operate as if perfection is both our personal goal and the expectation of others. So we end up with tall, thick walls the keep people from knowing who we really are—flaws and all. The best leaders, however, realize it’s more important to be vulnerable than to appear invincible. That’s the mark of a truly great leader. Vulnerable leaders aren’t weak. They are human. And they use openness to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths that drive themselves, their teams, and their business forward. Here are three proven ways for cultivating this indispensable quality of extreme leadership.
It’s no longer enough for leaders to be helpful coaches and advisors. That’s important, but it’s more of a starting point than a destination. The most successful and well-respected leaders understand the true measure of their greatness is in their ability to develop leaders who will surpass them in skill, influence and ability—who rise to a level greater than themselves. The six steps in this blog will help you start down the path of developing your leadership skills with an intentional focus on developing the leaders around you. It’s the nobler new standard of leadership.
Organizations can become a lot like a big ship in a small harbor—hard to turn in a new direction. You can’t morph an ocean liner into a speed boat, but you can change your organization’s culture—regardless of how big and institutionalized it’s become. You do it from the inside out by developing a culture founded in love. Mitch Luciano, CEO of the freight shipping business Trailer Bridge, knows a thing or two about ships. But more than that, he knows the power of love in leadership. This blog explains how that power transformed Trailer Bridge’s culture and turned their business around.
Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, was famous for walking the floors of his stores and distribution centers and asking people what they needed to improve their service to the customer. But he never stopped with the question—or the answer. He wrote down the suggestions and later followed up with the associates. He didn’t implement every idea, but he never left the associates hanging. That type of commitment is the mark of great leaders: They do what they say they will do. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to over-promise and under-deliver. So here’s a simple, four-step process for tracking and keeping your commitments as a leader.
It’s possible to manage a career, team, or organization in a safe zone where nothing bad is likely to happen. You can get things done and perhaps even move forward a little. But that’s not leadership, and it seldom takes you (or anyone else) anywhere great. Real leadership involves taking risks—getting comfortable with the idea of living in the world of the uncomfortable. When you read biographies of great leaders, you often see some variation of the phrase, “Everyone thought he was crazy when he did …” They took risks. This blog looks at five risks all leaders should embrace.
If you get a little squirmy with the word love in a business context, well, you’re not alone. But if that’s the case and if you want to be a great leader who builds a great organization, then take this simple advice: Get over it. Extreme leaders understand the power of love as a business principle. Rejecting this principle is like sitting at your desk blindfolded—you could still do the job, but not as easily and not as well. Love and fear drive the behaviors of all humans—including when we are at work. So here’s why leaders need to embrace love as a core principle for building business success.
More Articles on Leadership
Important Leadership Resources
John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” He knew that leaders are lifelong learners who seek insights and best practices from others so that they can grow into the next better version of themselves. Steve’s Extreme Leadership is all about seeking those insights and best practices, sharing them with aspiring great leaders, and helping them apply them within the context of their organizations. Whether it’s through books, workshops, or personal coaching, Steve’s training and development path provides proven and practical help for Extreme Leadership—leadership with meaningful results.
Some of the most important insights leaders need are the insights about who we really are. And how do we know who we really are? Well, as Ann Landers once advised, “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” To get you started with a more realistic view of yourself, start with this free assessment. It won’t even cost you a doggie biscuit. But it will give you a starting point for understanding your leadership style, which will help you determine the strengths you can build on and the opportunities you have for growth. Then you can take your leadership to the extremes. And that should make your tail wag. … So to speak.
· How do I Show Others that I am a Good Leader?
Being an effective leader can be a day-to-day struggle, and it's easy to question whether you're a good leader, or even a good enough leader. However, those who are real, raw leaders will stand out in a crowd. These leaders are accountable for what they do, accept the "Oh Shit! Moment" (OS!M), and are ready to bring out the true leadership qualities in others. As such, you can show others that you're a good leader simply by being unafraid to do what you say you will do, and encouraging others to do the same.
· Will a Leadership Workshop Really Make Me a Better Leader?
Attending a leadership workshop can't hurt, right? Ultimately, what you get out of a leadership workshop is what you put into it. For example, if you spend most of your time in a leadership workshop glancing at work emails on your phone or thinking about your upcoming weekend activities, you're unlikely to get any value out of the workshop. On the other hand, a passionate, driven approach to learning at a workshop and building leadership skills during it will enable you to maximize the event's value. And who knows, if you take this approach, it may even rub off on others who attend the event and push them to become better leaders too.
· Why Get a Leadership Coach?
A leadership coach can help you establish good habits and get into the mindset of being a good leader. This coach will offer guidance and tips to help you enhance your leadership skills. Also, a leadership coach is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide you with the feedback you need to succeed as a leader in any environment, at any time. But be careful! This is an unregulated industry, and anyone can hang out a "coach" shingle. Do your due diligence and choose a coach who has a track record of delivering on his or her promises.
· How do I Change the Culture of my Company?
Have you ever been a part of a culture that rewards people who have no title or no formal authority? Or, have you ever seen a culture where people who have the guts to speak up and stop something unsafe from happening are celebrated? In many cases, the answer is probably "No." Conventional wisdom says that organizational change has to start at the top. But in order to drive a cultural transformation, you need to be ready to speak up against a culture that is not working—regardless of your position or title. It won't be easy, but by doing so, you'll be able to improve a culture – and you and your peers are sure to appreciate the end results.
· How do I Create a Culture of Leadership?
To create a culture of leadership, you need to get out of your ivory tower, share critical information with your peers, and look for and encourage the hidden talents in others. Next, you'll need to find Love in yourself and share Love with your peers. Remember, Love is a powerful thing. If you Love your peers, they'll Love you back. And together, you and your peers will be able to develop a successful culture of leadership built on the strongest foundation of all – Love.
· How do I Create a Plan to Become a Better Leader?
To become a better leader, it is important to define the world around you. This world should be filled with Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof (LEAP), and the notion of LEAP should serve as a constant reminder to be a leader who is committed to enhancing the world around you. Taking the LEAP in all that you do will enable you to stay the course and understand that regardless of your title, role, or position, you'll need to remain a loving, energetic, audacious, and servant leader who can lead and inspire others in everything you do.
· What's the Difference Between Managing and Leading?
Anyone can be a manager, i.e. someone who bosses others around, often blames others for their own mistakes, and fails to practice what they preach. But a leader is much different, and for good reason. A leader is all about what they do to change the world as they define it. This individual is not about title, salary, or status. Instead, a leader transforms the world by living and leading out loud in all that they do. A leader also takes LEAPs by displaying Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof – all key tenets in leading and living to the Extreme.
· What is Extreme Leadership?
Extreme Leadership is the culmination of the passion, talent, desire, resources, imagination, and time you need to make a difference and expand the rightness of things. It requires pragmatism of the highest order and looking at the world and asking, "How can this be done better?" Extreme Leadership also requires you to understand that you and your peers share a common desire: to help each other help each other. It even involves understanding the dynamic interplay between Love and Fear – and embracing Fear – so you can take a Radical Leap forward in all that you do.
Top 12 Leadership Conferences in the World
Becoming the leader you know you can be requires hard work, patience, and a dedication to excellence. For those who want to take their leadership skills to the next level, you may want to consider attending one of the world's top leadership conferences as well.
There are many critically acclaimed leadership conferences for individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels, and some of the top leadership conferences around the globe include (in random order):
- World Business Forum
The World Business Forum (WBF) represents a leadership conference unlike any other on the planet. It is designed to deliver transformative leadership experiences, driving individuals to become better people who perform better business and create a better world.
WBF conferences encourage leadership that stimulates new thinking and inspires action. They feature content from CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, thinkers, and artists, ensuring attendees can receive valuable insights from a broad range of passionate, progressive thought leaders.
2. Secret Knock
A conference where the impossible becomes possible, the Secret Knock event helps entrepreneurs achieve their full potential. This invitation-only conference boasts high-profile inspirational speakers and forward-thinking presentations, enabling attendees to learn what it takes to drive meaningful improvements in their everyday lives.
Secret Knock features presentations from many innovators and advocates of change. Plus, these presentations typically give audience members the opportunity to interact with speakers directly and gain first-hand leadership insights that they might struggle to obtain elsewhere. Those who are interested in learning more can apply for an application to attend this event here.
3. Incite Summit
For those who want to learn about the importance of personalization and storytelling, and add new marketing skills to their resume, there may be no better choice than the Incite Summit. This event originally served as a marketing conference but has become so much more. It enables attendees to collaborate with one another in a friendly, professional learning environment, network with major brands and, perhaps best of all, discover what it takes to lead by example in a highly competitive global marketplace.
You don't need to be a marketing whiz to reap the benefits of the Incite Summit, either. This conference brings together marketing pros and novices alike, and ultimately, provides actionable insights that attendees can use to transform the way a business connects with its employees and customers both now and in the future.
Incite Summit conferences are held at numerous destinations across the United States annually. You can check for upcoming conferences on their events page.
4. The Startup Conference
Want to find out what it takes to grow your startup business into an industry-leading brand? Check out The Startup Conference, which brings more than 2,000 entrepreneurs together for one of the largest and most successful startup events in the Silicon Valley.
The Startup Conference offers a great option for those who want to introduce a new product or service, or learn from those who recently have done just that. It even features a free outdoor fair, ensuring those without conference tickets can still network with startup co-founders, influencers, and many others. You can view their tickets page for upcoming event dates.
5. ICSB – World Conference on Entrepreneurship
The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) – World Conference on Entrepreneurship offers a global conference that redefines entrepreneurship. It encourages scholars, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, and many others to discuss current issues that are impacting the global marketplace and discover unique solutions to these problems.
ICSB attendees come from a vast array of business sectors but share a common goal: to understand the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in driving sustainable development goals across society. During the conference, attendees can receive tips on how to achieve this goal from many experts and thought leaders in entrepreneurial research.
The 2016 ICSB event took place in New York and featured attendees from 55 countries. Meanwhile, the 2017 ICSB conference will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and you can find a list of all upcoming events here.
6. Grow Conference
Let's face it – finding like-minded individuals who share your passion for making the extraordinary a regular occurrence may seem impossible at times. Lucky for you, the Grow Conference enables you to meet with entrepreneurs, business leaders, and others who are committed to doing whatever they can to drive positive outcomes for their customers, employees, and businesses.
The Grow Conference serves as a three-day event that allows attendees to get practical leadership tips from globally recognized business professionals – and have fun at the same time. It features ideas and insights from doers and dreamers from around the world, and at the end of the event, you're sure to walk away with proven leadership strategies to help your company grow and prosper.
7. WSJ.D Live
The Wall Street Journal invites CEOs, founders, and investors to discuss the past, present, and future of technology and leadership at its WSJ.D Live conference.
WSJ.D Live offers a valuable learning opportunity for those who want to find out more about the digital landscape, challenges, and opportunities in the technology space, and how leaders can drive the tech market's growth for years to come.
8. Next Gen Summit
Millennials represent a revolutionary group of individuals who are quickly changing the way leaders drive collaboration. Now, you can receive leadership insights from Millennial entrepreneurs at the Next Gen Summit.
The Next Gen Summit made its debut in 2015 and is designed by young entrepreneurs, for young entrepreneurs. It enables attendees to get a fresh look at leadership from the Millennial perspective, making it an exceedingly valuable conference for attendees young and old.
9. Forbes Women's Summit
How can women become influencers and forge transformative partnerships to drive long-lasting business success? The Forbes Women's Summit encourages women across all industries and generations to explore these topics and find practical, actionable answers.
The Forbes Women's Summit promotes leadership development among women, encouraging women to align passion and power to achieve a higher purpose. It fosters intimate discussions among attendees and keynote speakers, and as a result, helps redefine pathways that women can use to achieve short- and long-term success.
The 2017 Forbes Women's Summit will take place in New York, and you can stay up to date on this conference here.
10. 99U Conference
Where do good ideas come from? It's a question we've all considered at some point in our lives. And at the 99U Conference, creative professionals can come together, investigate this question in detail, and collaborate and innovate like never before.
The 99U Conference encourages creative professionals to evaluate the ideas that shape lives and industries. It features discussions from inspirational leaders, enabling attendees to receive pragmatic, real world leadership insights to help them rethink the way they solve problems.
11. Digital Footprint
We've all heard the term "digital footprint," but what does it mean exactly? You can find out everything you'll want to know about your digital footprint, and what it takes to extend your digital footprint, at the Digital Footprint conference.
Digital Footprint teaches attendees how to establish authority, diversify and grow revenue, and overcome the competition in any business environment. It features speakers who are experts in marketing, monetization, social media, website design, and more and empowers individuals with insights that they can use to extend their global reach across many business sectors and digital platforms.
12. CEO Space
Growing a business is a lot of work, and no matter how much time you commit to your day-to-day efforts, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to enjoy long-lasting success. If you attend a CEO Space conference, you can gain the insights you need to drive your business to new heights and accomplish your personal and professional goals.
CEO Space conferences are designed to train the next generation of business disruptors and provides immediate access to some of the most brilliant minds in the business world. Here, attendees can learn from CEOs who have a firsthand look at the ups and downs of the business world and understand what it takes to navigate a constantly changing global marketplace.