Top Leadership Advice Heard at Leadercast 2016

Leadercast, an annual event for corporate and organizational leaders in their fields, gathered more than 6,000 leaders at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia, as well as more than 100,000 who tuned in to the livestream around the world, for one day of high-quality, high-intensity leadership training. Here are six thoughts from the speakers at Leadercast that will get your leadership mind in motion.

1. Clarity trumps integrity. —Andy Stanley, founder, North Point Ministries

“People want to follow leaders with integrity, but end up choosing leaders who exhibit clarity,” said Stanley as he kicked off the event. The inherent challenge is to be the leader who executes both. Stanley says clarity always results in influence, and influence is the essence of leadership.

2. Three out of four people would take a new boss over a pay raise. —Keith Wilmot, president and CEO, Leadercast

An awkward silence fell over the arena after Wilmot shared this statistic, considering that many of the people present are, in fact, bosses. Steve Cockram, co-founder of Giant Worldwide, says one solution to this is learning to hear the voice of each member of your team. “Eighty-two percent of team members feel misunderstood and undervalued,” said Cockram. In his book “5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead,” Cockram details which voices are hardest to hear, and which are consistently heard because they often aren’t quiet enough to truly listen.

3. Don’t give in to the innovator’s dilemma. —Kat Cole, group president, Focus Brands

“Progress can be blinding. Just because things could be worse does not mean you don’t have the obligation to make them better,” said Cole, who relies on “the hotshot rule” to prevent resting on her laurels. “If a hotshot took over my job today, what is the one thing they would look at and say, ‘This is unacceptable’?” Photo credit: Leadercast

4. Depth over height. —James Brown, broadcaster, CBS Sports

“The depth of the foundation determines the height of the success of any organization,” said Brown. Priorities and principles make an individual a valuable member of a team. As a leader, does each person on your team know and own your organization’s vision? “Success that is to be enjoyed is dependent on the individual,” said Brown. Better yourself as an individual, and encourage your team members to do the same. “A winning organization is one that inspires its employees to bring their best to the table every day,” he said.

5. Don’t discount the importance of one-on-one leadership. —Nick Saban, head football coach, The University of Alabama

You lead better if you do it one person at a time. Saban talked about how he sits with his players and learns about their individual goals. “There’s not one player that I coach who cares what I know until he knows that I care,” he said. Because he knows his players’ goals, Saban is able to hold them accountable to the organization’s standards, encouraging them to stay focused on their vision rather than being affected by circumstance. “That’s what it means to be a team,” said Saban. “Everyone has the right to fail, but you don’t have the right to fail for everyone else.” As a leader, it’s your job to equip your team so that when the circumstances change, the vision of the individuals and the team are still intact and in focus.

6. Get off autopilot. —Chris Barez-Brown, founder, Upping Your Elvis

Barez-Brown asked the audience three main questions: >>Do you sleep on the same side of the bed every night? >>Do you take the same route to work every day? >>Do you eat the same dish at the same restaurant each time? “In life, humans are dominated by feelings… but in work, we’re dominated by thinking and not enough feeling,” said Barez-Brown. He encouraged leaders to start putting feeling and emotion into their work again. “Eighty percent of our life is on autopilot,” he said. “Although it’s efficient, it’s not a great place to lead from.” Photo credit: Leadercast