The time wasn’t my friend in the last period and now I have to recover it. In the last posts I mentioned you about a leadership event, Leading for Growth Summit, organised by JCI Dublin. A well, that event happened on the 9th of November, in a rainy and gray Friday in a nice place in Dublin.
It was a good event, especially for its first edition, organised by a big multicultural team. At the event came 9 great speakers, who shared their own leadership stories and some almost made the audience cry. I will try to summarize the things that I learned at this event.
The most important thing about being a leader is first to be able to lead yourself. The first thing you should do when you get out from the bed in the morning is to lead yourself.
The speaker that started this summit was Mary Davis, Regional President and Managing Director of Special Olympics across Europe Eurasia and she talked about Ingredients For Strong Leadership. May started her speech with this famous quote: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”. The first ingredient is to take action, do the things that you want, nobody will do it for you. The time is always right to do what is right. The second is to lead by example, be a role model for the people around you and be a source of inspiration. The third ingredient is the Golden circle: Why, How, What and the most important is the Why, if the people understand it, they will follow you. If you use only the What and How you will like somebody else, but if you first say and explain the Why this takes you one step further. Another important thing in your leadership journey is how you handle your difficulties. A leader is an ordinary person with extraordinary determination.
The second speaker was Simon Bolger, who talked about Leading With A Purpose. Simon leads the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Online Partnerships Group at Google. The first thing you must do is to practice the basics. Earn the right to lead, have a view of the future and you have to know when to lead and when to follow. The second this is about awareness about yourself. Be present, listen and tune-in, understand your leadership style and know what you value. The last thing is about the purpose. Be yourself, be principled. Be purposeful, make a decision, then iterate. Focus on the things that matter.
Tony Hefferman is the Founder & CEO of Bee For Battens, The Saoirse Foundation, Ireland’s National Charity For Batten Disease, he is also a Director of the Medical Research Charities Group & was recently elected as the 1st Global President of The Batten Disease International Alliance. His subject was Social Leadership. Tony talked about the things that a leader must have and these are: the vision, focus, communication, drive, values and a strategy. Be prepared to take risks and deal with the unexpected. As a leader it is crucial to know your team, to know their strengths and weaknesses and to be aware of yours. Another important thing is to set challenges for you and your team because in this way you can develop more.
Another speaker was Andrew Keogh, a Presentations Consultant and Speaker. Andrew taught us how to tell our stories. In tough times or times of change we must double the level of communication. This you can do through 4 steps: Connect, build relationships, create trust and connect to grow. Andrew talked also about changes. Today the change is acceptable, it is a journey that has to be explained, tomorrow the change will be the law of life.
The speaker that I liked the most is Caroline Casey, a social entrepreneur and Founder of the not-for-profit organisation Kanchi and its pioneering social franchise The Ability Awards. The most dangerous leaders are the people taht dream and then are doing what they dreamed. Caroline gave us some advices from her own experience: be an authentic self, don’t compare yourself with someone else, sometimes it is better to let it go if you see that you are not the right person to do it, be around people that believe in you and the most important thing, love what you do, it will make your life easier.
Another great speaker was Gerry Duffy and his topic was “Leaving Your Comfort Zone“. Gerry’s’ sporting CV is filled accomplishments such as running 32 marathons in 32 days around Ireland as well as completing and winning the inaugural UK DECA Enduroman Ironman distance challenge in 2011.This ten day sporting challenge has been dubbed ‘The toughest 10 day Endurance Challenge in the World’. In his opinion, the ultimate success formula is this: “Decide what you want, take action, notice what is working and what is not, change your approach until you achieve what you want. It is very important to remember that the small keys open the big doors.
The other speakers were: PJ Timmins who talked about People Management, Theo Lynn, his topic was Social Media And The Science Of Persuasion and Johnny Walker who took us in a A Medical Entrepreneurial Experience.
As you can see, are as many theories about leadership as many people talk about it. We can learn a little bit of each other and to adapt it to our own style and preferences.