My 3 take aways from the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast

A great leadership conference is worth it's cost of admission every time.  Sometimes they can be challenging to attend: The price could be too high.  The conference is a couple of days and it requires missing work.  Or even worse, you're the only one who wants to go so you have to attend a conference alone.  If any of these apply to you the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast is the answer to your problems.

Leadercast is a one day event in May that's in Atlanta but available at sites all over North America by a live feed.  The cost was under $100, which is a steal in comparison to the information you receive from the presenters.  Here was the line up of presenters this year:

The CFA Leadercast melts every hinderance away.  Leadercast was cheap, it was in a single day, and what leader can't handle going to something alone for eight hours?  I was alone like Macaulay Culkin at lunch.  Here's picture proof.

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I give the Leadercast two thumbs and Moleskin journal up.  I've spent some time reflecting and trying to narrow down the day to three big takeaways.  I've been able to get there but here were a couple of the close runner ups.

  • Andy Stanley said, "Complexity is the enemy of clarity...Growth in an organization causes complexity.  The leadership has to strive for simplicity in response."
  • Dr Henry Cloud talked about necessary endings and mentioned hoarders suffer from the desire to be the source or provider of everything and they also hold on to yesterday - exactly what leaders can also be guilty of.  He also said, "Your opportunities become threats when you are a leader without boundaries."
  • Jack Welch gave this advice to developing leaders: Over deliver and be passionate about bringing insight into new ideas.

Okay, so those were the runner ups but here are my top 3 take aways from the 2013 Chick-Fil-A Leadercast:

3.  Jack Welch said, "I've never seen a GREAT leader that didn't have the generosity gene" - He would go on to say, "They love to promote people, they love to give bonuses, and they love to give raises."  This was the difference between a good leader and a great leader: how generous they are.  Wow, I had to ask myself if I leave a trail of generosity?

2.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "Rules don't lead. Standards lead all the time because they can be owned by a team." - Coach K talked about this as he led the Olympic Basketball team filled with NBA All-Stars and massive ego's.  Instead of trying to impose team rules he led a conversation with his team about how they were going to be successful together.  The team created the standards and lived up to them, later winning a gold medal.  When I feel like things are not going the way I want I think, "We need rules."  Exactly the wrong way to think.  This was a good reminder to me about leadership cultures: Teams need standards, not rules.

(Drum Roll)

1.  David Allen spoke about bringing order to chaos and said, "If you don't give attention to whats on your attention, you're wasting time." - You might need to read that again.  This 30 minute presentation was packed with deep thoughts around being appropriately engaged with the mental aspect of leadership.  But I am guilty of letting my mind take on too many thoughts at once in order to lead.  I can also obsess about things I can't control.  Both of these habits waste creative space.  Allen said a big mistake leaders make is making "to-do list" without also making decisions on how the list will get done and writing those down as well.  A list is nothing more than that if we don't actually decide the appropriate action step that needs to be done.

So without a doubt I got my money worth at the Leadercast.  If you are looking for a leadership conference to attend I recommend the Global Leadership Summit, the Catalyst Conference, the EntreLeadership One Day Event, and now the Chick-Fil-A Leaderscast.  You'll be so glad you attended any one of these events!