Leadership Summit 2017: Juliet Funt

Juliet Funt, a globally-recognized consultant and speaker, founded WhiteSpace at Work with the mission to unearth the potential of companies by unburdening their talent from busywork. She and her company help high-achieving teams execute better within the “Age of Overload” through light and enjoyable micro-learning digital courses. Teams that incorporate WhiteSpace mindsets and skill-sets increase productivity and engagement, reclaim lost capacity and execute at their finest.

  • In the flow of our days we are all getting less comfortable with “the pause”
  • This loss of time without assignment…the pause is where our best thinking and get our best ideas…it’s where we do our best work
  • This pause is the most endangered species
  • 100% exertion and 0% thoughtfulness
  • When talented people don’t have time to think business suffers
  • #1 we are too busy to become less busy
  • #2 we don’t count the cost
  • There is a HUGE cost of worshiping the false god of business
  • Does work have to be this way forever?
  • Whitespace is the secret ingredient to improve productivity
  • Whitespace is a strategic pause taken between activities
  • Great leaders naturally use whitespace
  • You can’t rush the cooking of a great idea
  • Strategic pause

3 Things that are not Whitespace

  • #1 it is not meditation
  • #2 it is not mind wandering
  • #3 it is not mindfulness
  • It is giving yourself permission to think the unthunk spot
  • Decrapify your workflow

Become conscious of the thieves (four thieves)

  • Busyness always feels like its our fault
  • Busyness is not a personal problem it’s a society problem

1. Drive

2. Excellence

3. Information 

4. Activity 

  • These are also linked to our personality
  • They all have values and faults
  • Your time in the presence of the thieves is a space that will be filled
  • Defeat them with the questions
    • Is there anything I can let go of?
    • Where is “good enough” good enough?
    • What do I truly need to know?
    • What deserves my attention?
  • whitespacegls.com (tool)
  • When’s the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago…when’s the 2nd best time? today

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Laszlo Bock

 Laszlo Bock served as Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations, growing the company from 6,000 to more than 75,000 employees. Google has been recognized more than 150 times as an exceptional employer, including the #1 “Best Company to Work for in the United States” every year since 2012. Bock’s New York Times best-selling book, WORK RULES!, has been published in more than 20 languages and has garnered numerous honors.

  • Every place I worked there was a gap between the values leaders talked about and what they actually lived out and how they acted and led
  • Find the best people, grow them as fast as we can, and then keep them at the company as long as we can
  • We spend more time working than doing anything else in the world
  • The experience of work should be meaningful
  • If I don’t work at Google how can we do these things? How can these things be universal?
  • But this stuff works everywhere because humans are the same everywhere
  • Treat your people right and they will do great things for you
  • The most important thing = Give you work meaning
  • Have a mission that matters
  • 1/3 of people feel meaning in their work 1/3 do it because they need $ 1/3 do it as a game (get promoted)

#1 Figure out why you are doing why you are doing the work you are doing and remind youself of it daily

#2 You don’t need to inspire everyone, find out why people are doing what they’re doing and have them tell their stories

#3 Have people come I who are the beneficiaries of the work you do

#4 Do it again and again and again

  • Trust, Transparency and Voice
  • Do you believe human beings are fundamentally good or evil
  • The only thing that really improves and drives performance is goals
  • Bureaucracy busters: ask people and let them solve it…trust people
  • People who are doing the work know more about the work because they’re actually doing the work
  • Giving people more autonomy and more freedom increases performance…
  • If you are a leader give people more freedom than you are comfortable with
  • Give people more freedom and they will be happier, stay longer and do more for you organization
  • Recruiting and hiring is how you transform organizations
  • In recruiting we make snap judgements and then the rest of the interview we subconsciously trying to affirm those snap judgements

2 Simple Hiring Rules:

  • #1 Don’t let the people interviewing make the hiring decision and instead have them write it all down and give it to someone else
  • #2 Have a rule to only hire someone who is better than you in some way
  • Let your people know that you trust them and you’re on their side

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley founded North Point Ministries (NPM) more than 20 years ago. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe, collectively serving nearly 70,000 people weekly. Recently, Outreach Magazine identified Stanley as one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Pastors in America.” The author of more than 20 books, he is passionate about serving both church and organizational leaders.

  • If we had it to do all over again what would we do all over again?
  • What really worked?
  • We did an autopsy on our success.
  • Usually as leaders we only critique our failures. But if all you focus on is your failures you may never learn to repeat success.
  • If you don’t know why things are going well, then when things go bad you won’t know how to help things start going well “again
  • Resource: “Lessons from the first 20 years” – podcast from the Andy Stanley podcast
  • Why did our organization grow so fast? Because we’re not growing that fast anymore.
  • We had a uniquely better product
  • Nobody was doing church the way we were doing church in the Southeast US
  • If you have the only hot dog stand in town your hot dogs don’t have to be that good
  • We weren’t the best at what we did, a lot of people are doing church, it wasn’t a new category. We were doing something unique in our category.
  • Unique is different than one of a kind
  • Unique can be bad too and unique won’t necessarily give you momentum
  • Better means it does what it’s designed to do better than the competition
  • We created an engaging church experience for the whole family especially for men
  • We aren’t unique anymore which means we are not uniquely better anymore
  • Somebody somewhere in your industry is messing with the rules to the prevailing model
  • Every industry has a prevailing model so every industry has a set of specific assumptions
  • Which means every industry is stuck in a certain manner
  • Discovering uniquely better is virtually impossible
  • Uniquely better is often the byproduct of circumstances that successful organizations are trying to avoid
  • Uniquely better is often so unique that established organizations can’t imagine that as being better
  • Our best hope and our responsibility as leaders is to create organizational cultures positioned to recognize rather than resist “uniquely better”

#1 Be a student not a critic

  • I will never criticize something I don’t understand
  • We naturally resist things that we don’t understand or we can’t control
  • As a leader you must overcome that tendency
  • The moment you start criticizing you stop learning and when you stop learning you stop leading and when you stop leading the leaders in your organization will leave
  • “The next generation product and idea almost never comes from the previous generation” AL Reis, Focus

#2 You have to keep your eyes and mind wide open

  • Listen to outsider, listen to outsiders, listen to outsiders, listen to outsiders
  • Outsiders aren’t bound by our assumptions
  • Closeminded leaders, close minds
  • You can’t see a closed mind in the mirror
  • How do you respond to staff who make suggestions based on what they’ve observed in other organizations?
  • When was the last time the organizations embraced a big idea that wasn’t your idea?
  • When is the last time you weren’t sure about an initiative but you gave the go ahead anyway?
  • “We must pay attention to the frontiers of our ignorance” Sam Harris
  • Being the leader and leading are entirely two different things.

#3 Replace How? with Wow!

  • “But how?” Kills ideas.
  • Wow ideas to life, don’t how them to death
  • We fuel innovation or shut it down by our response
  • Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about
  • The world will put enough “hows” in front of our children…let’s just be “wow” parents.
  • Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do but someone you raise

#4 Ask the uniquely better questions

  • Is this unique?
  • What would make this unique?
  • Is it better?
  • Is it better…really?
  • If you’re constantly thinking “uniquely better” then you will see it when it comes along

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson, a highly acclaimed activist and lawyer, has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned through his leadership of the Equal Justice Initiative. he has successfully argued several cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and his TED Talk has more than three million views. The best-selling author of Just Mercy, Stevenson was named to Fortune’s “2016 World’s Greatest Leaders” list.

  • America is the country with the highest rate of incarceration in the world
  • Women going to prison has increased by 646% in the last 20 years
  • 1-in-3 black children will spend time in jail

#1 To change the world you have to get close to the people we are trying change

  • We have to get close to the problem
  • You can’t lead from a distance
  • It is within that proximity where you figure problems out
  • Leadership requires that the people we are leading feel like we are with them
  • Who is responsible for poverty and tragedy? We are because we have removed ourselves from the proximity of the problems.
  • We can’t solve problems from a distance and the solutions don’t come until we get close to the problem

#2 We have to change the narratives that sustain the policies

  • The great evil of American Slavery was not slavery, it was the narrative of racial inequality
  • True narrative change can lead to freedom
  • We have to understand the narratives that sustain the problems that we see

#3 We can’t be effective unless we stay hopeful

  • Hopelessness is the enemy of justice and leadership
  • Hope gets you to stand up with other people say sit down
  • You’re either hopeful or you’re a part of the problem
  • You’re either a hopeful leader or you’re not leading
  • Stop talking about the things you have done and start talking about the things you’re going to do
  • It takes courage to stay hopeful in the face of daunting situations

#4 Be willing to do uncomfortable things

  • As humans we are biologically, mentally, and sociologically conditioned to be comfortable
  • Effective leadership only happens when great leaders are willing to do uncomfortable things
  • Sometimes you have to position yourself in uncomfortable situations to do significant things
  • Why do we want to kill all the broken people?
  • It is in brokenness that we really learn what it means to lead because in brokenness we begin to understand grace
  • Each of us is better than the worse thing we’ve ever done
  • The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it is justice
  • Our character as a leader cannot be measured by how we treat the rich and the powerful but how we treat the poor and neglected
  • Grades, income, position, etc. are not a measure of your capacity to lead

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Fredrik Haren

Fredrik Haren is a business creativity expert who has authored nine books, including The idea Book – credited as on of “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.” He is a global speaker who has been invited to speak to leaders in more than 60 countries on six continents on the importance of creativity in solving problems. Recognizing how challenging this is, Haren provides practical steps to help individuals and organizations become more creative.

  • Is creativity important in your job? 98% of people think they it is
  • Do you think you are creative? 45% people think they are
  • Do you think your company is doing enough to develop creativity in its employees? 2% of people think it is
  • There is no correlation between creative confidence and actual creativity
  • Ideas = one person takes 2 formerly known things and combines them in a new way
  • We cannot create out of nothing
  • Creativity = a person takes knowledge + information and combining them in a new way
  • We spend a lot of time talking about knowledge and information but not the “+”
  • The average business/management book only sells 3,000 copies
  • Creativity has never been more important than now…the speed of innovation is getting faster and we need to keep up
  • Idea-perception: the ability to see that the world is changing
  • The book is not dead because of the ebook. People used to read books on the bus, on the plane, on vacation. Where do people read books now?
  • We didn’t go from book to ebook, we went from book to social and digital media (mobile devices)
  • The problem: Human beings are not very good at change
  • Just because a man says something very confident doesn’t mean he’s right it just means he’s confident
  • The people you are leading are stuck doing things the way they do because they’re doing it the way they were told to do it
  • As leaders your job is to make your people more creative
  • You don’t do it by talking about creativity or teaching creativity, you do it by doing creative things as a leader…they are inspired to be creative
  • What is the most creative thing you can do as a leader?
  • We are never closer to God than when we have a really, really, good idea.

Posted in Leadership