Tag Archives: leadercast

Leadership’s Dirty Little Secret

15th May 2013

There’s a dirty little secret I’m learning about leadership: you’re likely already a leader, whether you like it or not.

Whether you are leading to inspire, leading to drive action, or leading to drive people crazy, well, that’s the part you control.

Chick-fil-A’s annual leadership conference, Leadercast is hands down one of my favorite annual events. As I wasn’t able to attend this year, I found myself eagerly following along via Twitter. The Tweets alone shared a powerful message: Simply Lead. Simply Lead was the theme for this year’s event, and the funny thing is, each time I read the tagline, I found myself reading it as “Lead Simply,” a small tweak, but one that I couldn’t help but stop to think about a little further.

I tweeted my little conundrum and received this in reply from a colleague.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 9.28.05 AM

I think he hit the nail on the head and lead to even more thoughts rolling around in my head.

 Simply Lead.

A recent conversation with another colleague of mine lead to a conversation around leadership, roles and the growth for the future. As we discussed paths, she shared with me sentiments that I’m not sure I’d ever really, truly accepted: you are leading right now. There will always be someone watching, a conversation somewhere taking place and an opportunity unfolding, it is how you define yourself in those small moments that build leadership skills. In a nutshell, if you want to hold the keys to becoming a leader in your organization: simply lead.

 Lead Simply. 

To simply lead is only part of the equation. If taking the reigns and helping to calm the chaos is the starting line, defining the route to the finish must be the next 26.2 miles. Leadership is, for a lack of a better word, leading me to two things: humility and patience. Humility is the action required to take a step back and serve those around us.  If we expect to better ourselves, we must first tend to the needs of others. As for patience, success and triumph aren’t a matter of winning the lottery, they are the result of dedication, hard work and the flexibility to alter as we go. If we expect to lead simply, we cannot expect the journey to follow the straight line of a guidebook or some pre-determined path up the corporate ladder. Becoming a leader is a team effort in order for each of us to become successful. In other words, it’s going to take a village.

It’s quite funny how a day long leadership conference can be boiled down into two words and leave such a stunning impact. I think those guys are on to something.

*Disclaimer: While Chick-fil-A is a client of mine, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. However, I am just as flattered and enamored by those chicken guys outside of the office each and every day.


10th May 2012

Last week I had the opportunity to attend  Chick-fil-A Leadercast for the second year in a row. I had looked forward to this event since I walked out of the GWCC this time last year. It’s just that good and this year was no different.

This year’s theme was all around the power of choices. The choices we make now effect every action that comes as a result, and they affect all of the people around us as a result.

Choices are obviously in plenty in one’s career and they happen at quite the rapid pace for me today. Tomorrow, I will attend my brother’s college graduation, two years since I myself made the same walk through the arch, and what a two years it has been.

In the past two years, I made the choice to stay in Georgia for my career. To give up the opportunity to work for an amazing brand. To take a chance on a small agency. To step out of my comfort zone in new business pitches. To switch roles at the same agency now three times in less than two years just because I needed a new challenge.

Today we had a meeting with a little group called Life Profit.

The idea is simple: what are you doing today that you are going to remember in a year from now?

How do we get out of the rut?  I’ve been there, heck, I’m there some days. I look back at the last two years and I see friends who have traveled the world, moved to new cities or gotten married. I’ve had those feelings of “what if I’m missing something?” “Am I too put together at 23?” Sometimes I can’t even stand how silly that sounds, but it’s true.

Thinking through it all, the choices I’ve made have gotten me further than I could have ever imagined the last two years would take me. My choices have caused me to grow into a more confident and trusting person than I ever knew I could be. Sure, I have a LOT of choices still to make. I’ll be the first to admit I have a LONG way to go. But with little steps each day, I know I can continue to be surrounded by people I love, working on projects that constantly challenge me and taking time to live a life I’m proud of.

It’s that little reminder that I know won’t leave my head anytime soon. What choices are you going to make today and what effect will they have on someone else’s tomorrow?