May 29, 2018

I’ve just returned from the Gazelles ScaleUp Summit in New Orleans, and I was blown away by the insights from the authors, educators, experts, and business leaders who presented. As I reflect on the content and moments that were most profound for me, I share with you these top four takeaways:

On Leadership

Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership. ~ a quote by Peter Drucker, author of The Effective Executive, shared by Gregg Thompson in his Master Coaching class

Nothing is too small to be ignored, left to chance, or reduced to habit. To be the most effective leader we can, we must be present and engaged in leading in every moment.

On Judgment

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will improve predictability. With less uncertainty about the data, human judgment will really matter. Are we skilled at good judgment? ~ Avi Goldfarb, co-author of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.

How do we hone our skills on judgment? We digest the data, ask for input, rely on experience and expertise, and expect the truth. Good judgment is rooted in reliable candor.

On Teamwork

Ants, bees, and termites: working in teams for a quarter billion years. They demonstrate shared purpose, diversity & experimentation, autonomy, and mutual accountability. ~ Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker, evolutionary biologist and author of TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work for Infinite Wealth in an Finite World (and your company can too)

If you need higher performance from your team(s), work to develop a culture that mimics the way nature’s strongest teams succeed. Identify the common goal, invite new perspectives and methods, empower individuals to contribute in their best way, and ultimately, hold each other accountable to achieving success. (By the way, FORTUNE Magazine named biomimicry the number one trend of 2017.)

On Connecting

Ask questions for which you have no answers. Listen to connect. Tell someone what you have never told anyone. ~ Judith Glaser, organizational anthropologist and author of Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results

There is no doubt that the best way to lead is to build strong relationships. This doesn’t mean “we all get along;” rather, it means uncovering connections that value someone’s perspective, opinion, intelligence, experience, or expertise. We must invest time and effort in leading by connecting and co-creating with those around us.