I was privileged to be invited to attend The Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in Chicago with some good friends and other community leaders in August. With representation from over 100 different countries, this summit included a leadership perspective from a Christian point of view, which was inspirational, practical and resonated with me whole heartedly. I was provided the opportunity to learn from leaders such as Alan Mulally (former CEO of Ford), Danielle Strickland (Senior Officer at The Salvation Army), Patrick Lencioni (Founder of The Table Group), Travis Bradberry (Co-Founder of TalentSmart), and many others who all spoke with authenticity and passion.
From L to R: Greg Fennig, Frank Morton, Jim Jay and Matt Carter
As I listened to these influential speakers over the course of two days, I challenged myself to learn more about what impacts me as a leader, and more importantly, how will I impact others?
Leadership is a huge responsibility; I hold myself accountable to always grow as a leader. If I don't, then I am short changing everyone around me.
To sum it up, when a leader gets better, everybody wins. When a leader doesn't get better... well, you get my point.
I've narrowed my leadership journey down to four main points: First, growing as a leader is not just about me. It's about everyone I work with both at Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) and in the community. Secondly, I must have unbridled passion for what I do. If I expect people to follow me from here to there, I better have a strong passion for where I (we) am (are) going if I expect people to join me on the journey. Thirdly, I must put people first. It may sound like a cliche, but people are the foundation of everything we do. So, I need to ensure everyone is included and understands a compelling vision and strategy. I need to respect, listen, help and appreciate others. Lastly, I must have focus. Too often we are all over the board, and therefore, we don't get much accomplished. I need to focus on two to three things that are "wildly" important.
So, how do I make this actionable? First of all, if I am going to grow as a leader and as a result make people better, then I must be intentional about it. It's interesting that most licensed professionals have to complete ongoing education credits to keep their licenses, but as leaders, we get our degrees and then are done. I commit to doing intentional work to grow my leadership capabilities each year. The GLS is a good example. Secondly, I must continually keep my "passion bucket" full. I cannot look to others to fill it for me. Whether it's spending time with other passionate people, reading inspiring books or visiting beautiful places, I must monitor my bucket and keep it full. Putting people first is the most visible. I must realize that everything I say (or don't say) and do impacts every person I come in contact with every day. Focus might be the easiest to talk about, but it's the most difficult to sustain. We are bombarded with important urgent things every minute of every day. Keeping focused on two to three things that have the greatest impact will be a challenge.
The GLS was a fabulous experience and one I hope will have a long-term impact on me as a husband, father, leader and friend. I ask those of you know who know me to keep me accountable for staying the course.