Edge of Leadership Un-Conference Insights
What an extraordinary week and event. 90 people gathered from all corners of Australia to explore leadership thinking, connections, and contribution to community through business. I am humbled and delighted by the responses and participation on the day. We raised just about $15,000 for our nominated charities, Menslink and Outward Bound Australia.
Here are the key insights:
Compassion trumps competition.
With the growing global trend of social agenda being an integral aspect of business, it's not surprising that the most successful businesses are the ones that focus on heart-centered contribution to community. Many were inspired by Lennock Volkswagen's Peter Munday's stories, of how his business has supported many charities over the years, raising $2.7 million. He asserts that he contributes because he is passionate about helping others where he can. He says his focus in business was first on cars. Over time that dwindled and his passion for people grew. His dealership is one of the most successful in the country. Do good in the community, and your business does well. And people can smell inauthentic contribution! If you do good JUST for the business payback, people will sense it. Clients will support businesses who do good with an authentic heart. As the business does better, they can do more good. This is a synergistic and positive relationship.
What causes are you passionate about supporting?
Diversity gives leverage.
One of the valuable aspects of the day was meeting so many people from diverse industries. We made sure there was a good mix at each table, and then after lunch encouraged people to change tables again to meet even more people. Connections allow us to learn and expand our influence. In addition, by seeking out others with very different experiences, we open ourselves to new possibilities.
Where are you seeking new connections?
Perspective allows profit.
One of the most important take away was the idea of developing an A-Team outside of your own organisation and industry. An A-Team is a personal board of directors, a sounding board. When the people on your A-Team are not in your industry or organisation or family or friendship circle, then they are detached from your choices and can give objective feedback. You can create your own A-Team. Ask them to dinner or lunch once per quarter, and ask for insight and suggestions on how you may progress in your career or business. The combined wisdom of diverse experiences is gold!
Who can you approach for insight who has a very different background to you?
Big views, big insight.
Both Jason Fox and I advocate for time out, unplugged, in nature. It allows us to re-calibrate to what is most important. Without the noise and distraction, we let go of the trivial, re-commit to life on our own terms. We are reminded of the impermanence of life, its fleeting and exquisite joys, and are stirred to honour its treasures more faithfully. It's an essential re-set that few commit to enjoying.
Can you get out, even for just five minutes, into the sunshine and fresh air?
Play the game, happily.
Jason Fox has often spoken and written about using a fuzzy contextual word to act as a beacon for a year's experience. His past ones have included 'Kingly', 'Pirate', 'Gentleman Pirate', and this year, 'Jester'. Each word serves as a filter for choices in the moment, a way of crafting experiences regularly that serve how we want to experience our lives, how we wish to evolve. 'Jester' is a way of reminding Jason to play lightly, to be less serious, more playful. My word for this year is 'Sunshine'. For me, this is a reminder to be unfiltered and authentic, and revel in abundant energy. My choices each day are about aligning to that: authentic expression, and the primacy of exquisite self care.
What could be your contextual word?
What people said:
"There are many incredible people doing incredible things!"
"The format was unlike any other event so I enjoyed the refreshing angles."
"I enjoyed Zoë's style and enthusiasm for leadership in its many areas."
"Loved the format. Learnt a lot from the speakers and people at my tables."
"The networking aspect was fantastic! Great facilitated questions. Awesome speakers! Hard to find a way to make it better!"
"Fabulous day, excellent!"
"The Un-Conference idea worked brilliantly. Successfully combined leadership content with networking."
"I feel re-inspired to make the time for improving my leadership skills."
Deep in discussion with the Table Hosts
A HUGE THANK YOU to:
The Table Hosts: Sheryle Moon, Andrew Sykes, Dave Rae, Todd Wright, Susan Helyar, Juliette Ford, Melissa Healy, Peter Gordon, Carrie Leeson, Marty Fisk, Eva Breidenbach.
Case Study Presenters: Peter Munday, Michael Hopkins, Trisha Wong, Pran Palnitkar, Pakao Sorn
All the wonderful attendees who brought your sense of curiosity, contribution, and play to the day.