I have just finished attending, along with 800 other participants, the Leadership Conference 2007 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. There is strength in Saskatchewan and momentum in leadership. Here are just a few of the strands of strength I drew from the presentations:
J. P Pawliw-Fry encouraged us to PLAY BIG and recognize the vital role of emotion in our motions from the delays in eating marshmallows to handling the 60,000 thoughts we have during the day. We learned about the strength of mindful breathing and to 1. stop 2. oxygenate and 3. seek information – especially when we feel HALTed (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired).
Joseph Grenny, from Crucial Conversations, gave a masterful overview of how to get results by stepping into the crucial conversations that are not being held and holding us all back. This was a very strong presentation on weaving together results and relationships through communication based on safety. We gather individual and organizational strength through conversations not through silence.
Craig Kielburger energetically encouraged us to move from me to we and how to be a leader in social involvement even at age 12. We need to come together for the community good and remember Mother Teresa’s line that it is not about doing great things so much as doing small things with love.
Ian Percy encouraged us to find our purpose and see the world through his “I’s” of innocence, independence, institution, irritation, insight, and integration. He encouraged us to gather strength through our irritation and realize how irritation irrigated our growth and engagement. Our leadership strength is developed as we interact, connect, create, engage, enable, expand, question, explore, and discover.
Elder Betty McKenna gave us strength through her aboriginal teachings and the wisdom of the medicine wheel. She demonstrated that the true PowerPoint is the connection between a speaker and her audience and that we don’t always need a bunch of swooshing slides to get people’s attention. She warned us to watch out for the Big IAM that lurks in leadership, too much ego. You could have heard a pin drop in the room as she quietly and confidently shared her stories.
The conference is every 2 years and GUESS WHO will be “Running back to Saskatoon.” Kudos to all involved in Saskatoon’s Leadership Conference 2007 for a well done conference that helps leaders move forward through strength.
Photo Credit: University bridge at night by http://www.flickr.com/photos/heather-dietz/211514108/