Lessons from Leadership and Innovation 2020 online conference part 1

International Institute for Learning organized its Leadership and Innovation 2020 online conference on 6 March 2020. I couldn’t attend on that date. No problem, because the keynote speeches and presentations were made available on-demand until June 7. That gives participants the opportunity to watch and learn anytime, anyplace.

Strengths 2.0: Applying Design Thinking to Individual and Team Strengths and Weaknesses
John K, Coyle is one of the world’s leading experts in Design Thinking and Innovation. A highly sought-after speaker and lecturer, John is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Engineering – Product Design (Design Thinking). John is a world-class athlete in two sports (cycling and speedskating) and an Olympic silver medalist, as well as an NBC Olympic Sports analyst, and a guest lecturer on Innovation at several leading universities (Kellogg, Marquette, CEDIM). John shares lessons illustrated by historical speed skating snippets. John is a two-time TEDx speaker, and an award-winning author of two books including the recent (2018) best seller Design For Strengths: Applying Design Thinking to Individual and Team Strengths. John is also a leading speaker and writer in the field of chronoception – the neuroscience and psychology of how humans process time.

Although advice may relate to children more than adults nowadays, timeless truths are in the also very American convictions:

  • You can do it
  • Try harder
  • Never give up
  • Never give in
  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going
  • Work harder
  • Good things come to those who wait
  • Never quit
  • Quitters never prosper

Race your strengths, design around your weaknesses. Know and accept therefore your weaknesses. Know and define the specific nature of your strengths. By trying to fix a weakness, you risk ruining a corresponding strength. You will excel only by maximizing your strengths, never by fixing your weaknesses.

Abide by the two-year rule. Practice takes time. Internalize new habits. Quit or make it a hobby.

The Blueprint

Doug Conant is the only former Fortune 500 CEO who is a New York Times best-selling author, a Top 50 Leadership Innovator, a Top 100 Leadership Speaker, and one of the 100 Most Influential Authors in the World. A devoted leadership practitioner and teacher, Doug’s 45-year career has been defined by achieving high performance through an intentional commitment to studying, practicing, improving, and spreading the tenets of “leadership that works.” He is Founder and CEO of ConantLeadership. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author with Mette Norgaard of TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments. His second book The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights hit booksellers March 4, 2020. Finally, he is the ever-so-proud husband of Leigh and father to their three remarkable children.

The six practical steps to succeed in a VUCA world in part 1 are:

  1. Reach High – Envision. What is your life story? Pursue a résumé and eulogy.
  2. Dig Deep – Reflect. Know yourself.
  3. Lay the Groundwork – Study. Refer to the tenets below. Who’s inspiring you?
  4. Design – Plan. Craft your leadership purpose, core beliefs, model
  5. Build – Practice your intended habits.
  6. Reinforce – Improve. Forget perfection. Have a continuous improvement approach.

The steps are founded in a purpose, core beliefs, a leadership model, and practice treasury. He mentioned David Brooks‘ TED Talk Should you live for your resume…or your eulogy? That sounds like begin with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey taught. Next, he quotes Brené Brown.

You can either walk inside your story and own it or you can stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.

Part 2 contains a Manifesto with 10 tenets:

  • high performance
  • inspire trust
  • pupose
  • humility
  • courage
  • integrity
  • abundance
  • grow or die
  • have fun
  • how can I help?

A growth mindset, coined by Carol S. Dweck in her Mindset – The new psychology of success : how we can learn to fulfill our potential, is a great source of inspiration.

Understanding Purpose in the New Economy

Since beginning his life’s work at the young age of 12, Craig Kielburger has spent more than two decades dedicating himself to empowering others to create positive change in their own lives and the lives of others. His powerful journey – beginning at his parents’ kitchen table and taking him around the world – has touched countless people and sparked the creation of the WE Movement, a globe-spanning organization that has given millions of people the tools they need to lift themselves from poverty. Today, in addition to working as a leading social entrepreneur and bestselling author, Craig is an acclaimed speaker who travels the world sharing his unique story. He inspires a diverse range of groups viewers, helping them to find meaning and purpose in their work so they can make an even more significant impact, innovate and foster intrapreneurship.

Craig shared examples from Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Unilever, Tesla and Jeff Skoll to prove that charity and business can go together. What problem will your product solve?

Purpose is the new sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll (Richard Branson)

Note, that your purpose isn’t a mission statement or a five-year plan. Don’t change companies, change the company you’re in.