Leaders and Icons

I thought I would share on our blog a thread I posted on Twitter regarding the Leaders and Icons conference I attended this past week in Toronto. On purpose, I have left the speakers involved identified as their twitter handle, so please look them up and give them a follow if you are interested in learning more.

Yesterday, I had a chance to attend @leadersandicons in Toronto. I was a bit apprehensive, as some leadership conferences are very type A focused with more bravado and bragging than real substance. I am happy to report it was a great event, and I'd like to share some thoughts.

The first speaker was @vickis from @sheeo_world who spoke about how our "Winner takes all" mindset in this world has broken everything, but we have the power to fix it. In 2008, it took the U.S. 3 weeks to find $17T to bail out the banks.

If we can pull together to do that? what else can we do? We can move from winner takes all to a collective economy. We can use radical generosity to distribute income for the highest impact. We have the power to fix it all. What a time to be alive.

Next up, @PeterAceto talked about Leadership, Innovation, and Diversity. As CEO of ING Direct he had his employees vote on whether or not he should stay CEO. That's something that takes a real pile of guts to go through with, but really shows commitment to those you lead.

We then had @joannelipman discuss her book That's What She Said with @carolinecodsi . One thing that stuck out to me from this talk was that most men and women, when asked, say they prefer a male boss. I don't disagree, and I've heard others say it, but it's not my experience.

From my first job washing dishes to 7 years @BMO so many of my bosses have been women. The women I had the privilege to work for are some of the hardest working, dedicated, and smartest people I've ever met. We need more of them in leadership roles.

I was expecting bravado, arrogance, and mansplaining. What I got was someone who was calm, thoughtful, and consistent. He described the process used to examine the famous @HillaryClinton emails, and the tough decisions that were made in the communication strategy.

The noteworthy quote for me was "Ethical leadership is all about external reference points". He compared Mr. Trump, who was all about Mr. Trump to someone who answered to those external reference points. He showed this in his commitment to the FBI as an institution.

He also noted his commitment to the ideals and values of the U.S. with importance of truth as the number one priority.  Although we could critique U.S. performance when it comes to truth, he was very genuine in his conviction.

Overall it was a great event, it was very well structured, with many learning moments. I even happened to meet Podcasting Icon @jessi_moorhouse which was the icing on the cake! I look forward to the return of @leadersandicons


Postscript: There was a lot that I learned from these leaders, but there was a lot that was reaffirmed. One of my hesitation was the expectation that the speakers would be very flashy, type A, with arrogance and bravado. What I learned was they were calm, committed to their process, and very realistic. 

This approach aligns very well with the approach You Group takes. We work with clients to establish a strategy and process that works to make them more successful. It's not usually the flashy rock star approach, but it works over time. These leaders have affirmed that this is a great approach to success.