Leadership Learning Management Motivation Reflection

7 Leadership Lessons From ICAN 7x7x7

Last night I was honored to be a part of the Omaha 7x7x7 Leadership Exchange in partnership with ICAN. This is one of my favorite events of the year.

I love it because it is rapid fire. Seven speakers, seven minutes each, seven unique leadership focused subjects.

I thought it would be helpful to share some of my take aways from this powerful evening. My take aways are not specifically attributable to any one speaker, they are themes that emerged across speakers.

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Terry Lee, Sr. Trainer and OD Consultant at Securities America

1. Context Matters

A theme that emerged across nearly every speaker was that context matters. First, you as a leader need to find or create a context for yourself where you can utilize your strengths…you need to find fit. If not, finding success will be especially difficult. It is already difficult enough to lead (a bonus theme/take away).

Second, you need to create a context for your people where they can find success. They need to understand what winning means for your organization (e.g. business, not-for-profit, family, team) and need to know how to help the organization win.

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Chief Todd Schmaderer, Omaha Police Department

2. How You Communicate Matters

It appears to me that many people believe that simply sharing information equals communicating well…not so.

You need to communicate for effect. What is the outcome you desire from your communication? What do you want people to take away? What is the headline you would want to read in the morning regarding your situation?

You need to communicate with the proper tone. Sometimes you need to be dead serious, sometimes humor is appropriate. However, when you use humor you must be thoughtful about it. What is the goal of the humor? Will humor help or harm?

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Dr. Beverly Kracher, Business Ethics Alliance & Creighton Heider College of Business

3. Authenticity Matters

Be authentic and allow your people to do the same.

“Covering” at work is very harmful to self and to employees! The act of covering up your true self is exhausting and will lead to under performance and burnout. You need to hire great people and let them bring their whole self to work. You as a leader need to do the same. If not, you will suffer and eventually your people will see through the act.

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Judy Ricketts, Managing Director at TD Ameritrade

4. A Learning Orientation Matters

Learning occurs in many ways, the key is that you strive to learn.

You learn through research. You dig until you understand the truth of the matter and the root cause. In doing so you can fix the true problem and avoid reoccurrence.

You learn through experience. Be ambitious, take risks, don’t be afraid to try new things so you can learn and grow.

You learn by seeking and listening to feedback. You need to utilize your strengths, but you also need to understand your areas for future growth. What news tools do you need to acquire?

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Paul Mass, CEO of The Scoular Company

5. Connections Matter

Leaders need to see and create connections.

You need to understand how the work gets done through your people. Who works with whom to create value. You need to help those folks set aside their self interests so that your organization can flourish.

You also need to understand who should be connected in order to create or seize new opportunity. Understand the people in your world so you can introduce those who will work well together.

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Mindy Millward, Founder and Managing Partner at Navalent

6. Nurturing Talent Matters

Great leaders nurture talent.

You need to understand how to best pour into your people. You need to help them develop skills that will benefit the organization, but you also need to enable people to develop and live out their passions (family, community, hobbies) beyond your organization.

That said, you must also fill your own cup. What do you need to grow? What interest do you need to pursue? Which loved one do you need to spend time with? Your cup must remain full in order to be able to pour into other’s cups.

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Arun Agarwal, Founder of White Lotus Group

7. Community Matters Can Be Organizational Matters

You need not sacrifice organizational outcomes to help the community. Find the intersection of interests. How can you meet an organizational goal while also meeting a community need?

Understanding the needs of those around you is the key. When you understand people’s true needs you will know how to effectively help and can determine how to align organizational interests.

In the end, by connecting community and organization both those you lead and the community will benefit.

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ICAN Breakout Circles

It was a fantastic event and I hope this post conveys a bit of the wisdom that was shared. Make sure to check it out in person next year!

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