My Takeaways from the 2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast

Last Friday, I had the privilege of hosting the Chick-fil-a Leadercast in Atlanta, Georgia. Approximately five thousand people attended the live event and another 115,000 people watched via satellite in 750 locations around the world.

My primary job at the conference was to listen to the speakers and summarize two or three takeaways from each for the audience. It was challenging but exhilarating.

Over the weekend, I reviewed my notes and selected one quote or concept from each speaker to share with you. These aren’t necessarily exact quotes; they are what I wrote down.

  • Andy Stanley, pastor of NorthPoint Church and bestselling author and communicator: Level five leaders don’t feel the need to be the smartest person in the room. They are willing to be the dumbest person.

  • David Allen, best-selling author of Getting Things Done and productivity expert: There is an inverse relationship between what is on your mind and getting it done. If it’s on your mind, get it out of your mind. Write it down, so you can focus on the task at hand.

  • Sanya Rochards-Ross, 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, track and field: Before the race, I imagine myself winning. During the race, I focus on executing what I imagined previously.

  • Henry Cloud, bestselling author and leadership consultant: Sometimes, the worst thing a leader can do is hope. If you are headed to the wrong destination, perseverance won’t help you. Instead, you need to create a “necessary ending.”

  • Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head men’s basketball coach, Duke University: Don’t focus on winning. Focus on creating a culture of success. This will lead to consistent winning.

  • John C. Maxwell, bestselling author and leadership expert: Divide your weaknesses by delegating them. A leader is like a quarterback. He doesn’t get paid to run the ball. He gets paid to put the ball into the right hands.

  • Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State (2005–2009): You have to be an optimist. Nobody wants to follow a sour puss.

  • Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric: You can give a thousand speeches, but nothing has a bigger impact than the personnel decisions you make. This includes who you hire, who you fire, and who you assign to your most important projects.

  • LCDR Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL and star of the 2012 movie Act of Valor: As leaders, your people are going to mimic your behavior. (SEALS are going to amplify your behavior.) “Calm is contagious.” So is panic. So is stupidity.

This year’s Leadercast was the best ever. In fact, I would say it was one of the top five events I have ever attended.

I hope you will consider attending next year, along with your team. Tickets are on sale now for the May 9, 2014 event. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It only gets better with each passing year.

Question: If you attended the Leadercast, what did you take away?