Cliff’s Notes from Leadercast: 5 Ways to Simply Lead

This post comes fresh off the heels of Leadercast 2013, which brought together 120,000 people in 750 “host” sites in 25 countries around the world for a leadership boot camp of sorts. The impressive speaker line-up included world-renowned executive coaches, sports icons, political officials, and best-selling authors, such as John C. Maxwell, Condoleezza Rice, and Jack Welch.

Did you happen to miss out? No worries – I will be running a series on Core Chat that will take a deeper dive into some of the concepts from the event. I’d love for you to subscribe, follow along, and contribute. If you did attend, please share your thoughts throughout the series as well. Let’s not let the dialogue die just because May 10th is over – let’s keep this critical conversation going!


The theme of this year’s event was Simply Lead. In the spirit of simplicity, this first post is the Cliff’s Notes version of Leadercast 2013. If you don’t continue to follow this series, at a very minimum you can start to Simply Lead just by reading and acting on the next 345 words – I have packaged up 7 hours of learning, 9 speakers’ insights, and 15 pages of notes into 5 key takeaways from the event.


Wordle: Influence

1. Understand that leadership is not a role or title. “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” ~ John C. Maxwell

Everyone reading this post has the opportunity to lead, regardless of your age, gender, occupation, or position within an organization.  How can you lead without the title? Check out the recent Harvard Business Review post on this topic here.

2. Intentionally add value to others every day.

Another great reminder from @JohnCMaxwell. Leadership is not about you.  Leaders spend their energy and resources putting their followers in positions to succeed. During Jack Welch’s tenure as CEO at GE, capital rose by $387 billion. What did his day-to-day look like? He spent 70% of his time building and developing his team…and his team took it from there.

You don’t need a team in the literal sense – add value to colleagues, clients, neighbors, family, and a “followership” will naturally occur.

medium_27045044633. Stretch yourself and those around you.

Okay, I need you to get a little physical for this one. Lieutenant Commander and Navy Seal Rorke Denver  led us through this exercise at Leadercast (don’t worry – it’s not painful):

  • Lift your arms up.
  • No really – do it.
  • Still waiting…
  • Ok, thank you.
  • Now relax your shoulders and then reach back up as high as you can.
  • Now stretch them just 1-inch higher.

Give one more inch in everything you do. Ask for opportunities.  Act on opportunities. Do things that are uncomfortable and challenging. Push yourself to GROW, and bring others along for the ride!

medium_69335229144. Get appropriately engaged.

“With growth comes complexity, and complexity is the enemy of clarity.” ~ Andy Stanley

You can’t Lead Simply without staying laser focused on what matters most and prioritizing your time appropriately. You don’t need more time, you need greater focus. As mentioned at Leadercast – Mother Theresa only had 24 hours – just sayin’.

5. Stop looking for a leader to solve a problem. Be the leader who solves the problem.

The next time you’re frantically looking around for someone to solve a problem for you, stop and ask yourself, “how would I solve this problem?” – and then go out and do it!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we take a deeper dive into some of these concepts and a few others from Leadercast 2013. If you attended the event, are there any other key takeaways on your Top 5 list?

Click here to read part 2 of the Leadercast series: The Trust Formula.

Click here to read part 3 of the Leadercast series: Goodbye Old Friend, It’s Been Real.

photo credit (Navy Seals): Rennett Stowe via photopin cc

photo credit (clock): Tord Mattsson via photopin cc

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