More than 400 area leaders attended the Chick-fil-A Leadercast simulcast at First Baptist Church on Stuart Road Friday.
The all-day leadership event was viewed by 100,000 people in remote host sites via an Internet broadcast from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Chick-fil-A Leadercast was the vision of John C. Maxwell, who desired to create a different kind of leadership conference that was affordable and accessible to leaders from every background.
Maxwell’s vision became a reality in 2000, the Maximum Impact Simulcast was born. GiANT Impact later began producing the event and now has teamed up with Chick-fil-A.
Speakers were Jack Welch, former chairman/chief executive officer of General Electric; Andy Stanley, best-selling leadership author and communicator; and Mike Krzyzewski, men's basketball coach, Duke University and Team USA.
Also speaking were John C. Maxwell, best-selling author and leadership expert; Dr. Henry Cloud, best-selling author and leadership consultant; LCDR Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL and star of the 2012 movie “Act of Valor”; and Sanya Richards-Ross, 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, track and field.
Speakers also included David Allen, best-selling author of “Getting Things Done” and productivity expert; Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009; Michael Hyatt, host; and master of ceremonies Tripp Crosby.
Allen said getting things done is not about getting things done. It is about being appropriately engaged. Bach and Einstein only had 24 hours in a day.
“If you had two extra hours of time, you would have two more hours of confusion,” he said.
Doing something is more about creating space than time. It takes zero seconds to make a decision or come up with an idea.
He spoke of having a mind like water. Water never overreacts, it always acts appropriately.
Allen observed that no one can multitask. Martial artists facing five foes do not try to focus on all of them at once, but takes care of one, then rapidly focuses on the next, then the next.
“Multitasking is driving home from work and wondering who drove,” he said.
People for Care and Learning, and Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce joined together with other sponsors to offer the program in Cleveland for the first time.
Chamber President/CEO Gary Farlow said he is hopeful of an annual presentation in Cleveland.
“If you are an aspiring leader or already leading, this is a way to pick up some pointers on how to do it better,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing for the business community. We want our businesses to be good leaders in the community. We’re amazed at the turnout. We hope to be able to do this every year.”
The Chamber and People for Care and Learning each have a different set of contacts and “this makes it possible for people in both arenas to work together and get to know each other.”
PCL International Director Dr. Fred Garmon said it is important for someone in Cleveland to hear leadership views from someone like educator and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
He said the entire slate of speakers was chosen because they are people of character and because they are people of competence. They all have something to share, “that simply put, can help us simply lead.”
“All of these people bring certain experiences and competencies with them,” he said. “Also, they are people of character and when they bring those things together, it’s important for leaders to see these things because a lot of them are applicable to their situations.”
Garmon said PCL and the Chamber believe leadership can be learned and human resource development is a company investment.
“Not to invest in this, is to decline. It is to bring about failure or at the very least, an ineffective organization,” he said.
Jonathan Cantrell, who owns Caldwell Paving in Charleston, said it is important because he realizes he is probably not the smartest person in the room, but he is in charge of some of the smartest people in the paving industry and he needs to be able to lead them.
“There are some things I can use and some things my top management team can use,” he said. “People might think leadership applies only to the white collar world and not paving and construction, but it does. Leadership is for all of us. I had a coach who said if you are not moving forward, you’re moving backward ... I didn’t believe it at one time but I believe it now.”
Cantrell’s business success is not measured by new equipment.
“Caldwell Paving has some of the best and brightest people in the business, but we’re not at a place in the economy where we can keep buying the newest and best equipment. I think knowledge is power and if you are equipping your employees better to deal with people better, to deal with situations better, I think God will reward that,” he said.
Knowledge absolutely equates to quality, he said.
Krzyzewski empowers people and puts them in a position for success. Communications is the most important key. Talk face-to-face, look the other person in the eye and always tell the truth.
Welch said endings are good. Be happy to be here, but be ready to leave. He said self-confidence, simplicity and speed win the game. Employees must know what is in it for them.
Denver pointed out that calm is contagious, panic is contagious and stupidity is contagious.