Oh, I’m about to shout!

Key takeaways from the Global Leadership Summit

During the two-day Global Leadership Summit that one line seemed to really stand out to me and sum up my entire emotional reaction to the “fire-hydrant of leadership knowledge” that is the GLS. Reverend T.D. Jakes, @BishopJakes, was interviewing Strive Masiyiwa,@StriveMasiyiwa, billionaire chairman of Econet and a positively delightful human, and he was talking about how we have so many means of communicating with each other yet we don’t know how to talk to each other. T.D. Jakes passionately exclaimed “oh, I’m about to shout!” as if to say “YES! I feel that, you feel that, you expressed something that hits my core — thank you for saying it.”

Aside from the amazingly talented, moving and inspiring speakers I can’t express how powerful it is to hear people say, quantify, and validate your beliefs, ideas, or opinions. Maybe you’ve had these thoughts before and didn’t know how to express them or it’s like a epiphany to hear something you can relate so strongly too but never put words or actions around it. This doesn’t apply to just the conversation between Jakes and Masiyiwa but all thought leadership. It moves me to action when I hear something outside of just the voice in my head. So, my biggest takeaway: don’t hold back on expressing your voice for fear it’s obvious or that your audience has heard this before. The simplest most obvious words can be so profound.

Summary of key learnings

Everyone Has Influence.

People think in order to be a leader you have to be the boss or CEO or have a team of people you manage. Not true. A leader is anyone who has the ability to influence. Do you have friends? A family? Kids? Belong to a club? A sports team? Live on planet earth? You are a leader.


Evaluating someone’s EQ — their emotional quotient — is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately. Companies are understanding more and more that soft skills are almost more important than hard skills. The soft skills are much harder to train. You might be good at what you do but are you good at who you are? I can train you to use a certain software or process. It’s harder to make someone a good person. I learned two more “Q’s” at the conference: HQ and CQ.

Restaurateur Danny Meyer, @dhmeyer talked about the hospitality quotient as an important factor in his success. “Success is in how I can make you feel. The customer must feel heard. Mistakes that lack integrity are the ones I have a problem with.” said Meyer. When mistakes are made, how are you making it right? Does your client or customer walk away feeling heard, valued and whole again? This is the measure of your HQ.

David Livermore @davidlivermore_64679, President of the Cultural Intelligence Center, gave an amazing talk on how people can improve their cultural quotient — the CQ. Diversity amongst teams is not a new thing and companies are always striving to improve their diversity to expand their knowledge, perspectives and innovation. What was interesting is Livermore challenged that diversity doesn’t always lead to innovation. Without a team of individuals with a high CQ — the ability to work successfully with different cultures — it can often lead to confusion and frustration. It’s actually Diversity x CQ that = innovation. For a high CQ you need curiosity and knowledge about cultural differences. You need a strategy for how to interact and the ability to adapt.

The Infinite Game

Author Simon Sinek, @simonsinek, (the “Why” guy) gave an amazing speech on the infinite game. Some people play the infinite game, while others play the finite game. When you play the infinite game what you do and why you do it is so much bigger than you and your organization. Beating the competition in Q3 or having better sales is the finite game. That might win you a battle but it doesn’t mean you’ll win the war. When you are always focused on your values, your why, like improving education or helping low income families you are playing the infinite game. Everything you do is in the service of that cause. You may beat the competitor sometimes or you may lose. That doesn’t matter. You keep playing for your cause that will continue long after you’re gone. That will always feel like a win.