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Exploring the Values and Traits of Successful Leaders & Organizations

Apr 15, 2016 2:15:00 PM

Last month, Lisa Vivinetto and I attended Great Ideas in Colorado Springs, CO. Created by our good friends at ASAE, the Great Ideas Conference brings together association executives and colleagues with sessions that open doors to new thinking and new ways of doing things. As I reflect back on my time there, there were some common themes in the sessions I attended that resonated with me.  

Using your Gut: Effective Decision Making, and Super Charge Your Team and Your Bottomline had common themes of tapping into core values for both decision making and leadership. Acknowledging and giving voice to your value system in day to day business operations as well as in management makes for better, faster and more confident decision making; improved leadership; happier teams; and is proven to positively impact the bottom line. Values, like integrity, accountability, keeping promises and standing up for what’s right, create effective teams who work hard and take responsibility for their actions and deliverables. Compassion and forgiveness provide the freedom to take chances, be creative and strive for innovation. 

Pardon the Interruption provided a timed panel discussion on various topics but there was one that really stood out – is ‘great’ the threat to ‘great?’ We discussed the importance of continually striving for improvement, to not rest on our laurels once we achieve a certain threshold of accomplishment. Complacency sets you up for stagnation and potential failure. Arlene Petranton, CEO of the American Speech Language Hearing Association said it best, “Great isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.” Wise words to keep in mind both organizationally and personally as we all strive to keep our organizations thriving in these competitive times while staying true to our value system. 

With those ideas running through my head, the closing session Because I Said I Would, brought it home. A hugely moving presentation that brought tears to many eyes, Alex Sheen, talked about how he started a non-profit to challenge people to keep their word as a tribute to his father. “Because I Said I Would” examples were truly inspiring. One woman put a note on her cell phone every time she got in the car that said “I won’t text and drive.” One man put a note in his daughter’s lunch every day for school. When he was diagnosed with a terminal disease, he promised to write enough notes before he died so that she had one for every day of her education – and he did. 

Great Ideas certainly did just as its name says – inspired many great ideas that I look forward to implementing. I hope you enjoyed these highlights and can join me at next year’s event for some more leadership inspiration.