7 Leadership Lessons from the 2014 Global Leadership Summit

As most of you know, I take personal development and self-improvement very serious. I’m even more passionate about leadership development.


Leaders facilitate change. Whether the change is perceived to be positive or negative, typically a leader is always at the helm of initiating that change. Thus, leaders influence the course in which other’s lives will go.

This type of influence is powerful, therefore this type of influence should be held with a great deal of reverence and responsibility.

Global-Leadership-Summit-LogoSeven years ago, I was introduced to the Global Leadership Summit and I was blown away by the diversity of the speakers, the leadership development and leadership insights I received over the two-day span of that summit. I haven’t missed a summit since.

This year’s summit was held this past Thursday and Friday, so this week, I would like to share what I consider to be the top seven leadership lessons of the 2014 Global Leadership Summit.

1. Jeffrey Immelt – President & CEO at General Electric (GE)

Mr. Immelt provided a plethora of poignant leadership tips, but of the wisdom he shared a few things really stuck out for me.

The first was a statement he made about diversity:

“If you believe in talent and meritocracy you believe in diversity. If you want to win, your organization must be diverse.”

He then went on to share that GE invests one billion dollars in leadership development every year. He also explained how despite previous economic pressure GE has always been committed to the principle, that if their organization has strong leaders they will be a strong company.

Towards the end of his session he was asked which qualities does he like and dislike most in a leader.

He answered as follows:

  • The standout quality in a leader is a person who questions the rules or the way things have always been.
  • The turnoff quality in a leader is the tendency to continually makes excuses.

2. Don Flow – Chairman & CEO at Flow Companies, Inc.

Mr. Flow shared at great deal of insight on how being a virtuous and honest businessman can create a profitable business. An example of his philosophy in action is illustrated with how he does business with his auto dealerships. In order to ensure customers feel safe and secure at Flow dealerships, he’s placed a cap on how much profit the company can pull from each car sale based on the year, make and model of the car.

he also shared the following acronym that he uses in leadership evaluations:


Show respect
Earn Trust
Reach for perfection
Value Input
Energize others

3. Joseph Grenny – Bestselling author of Crucial Conversations

I must admit that this year, Mr. Grenny was one of my favorites. I read his book, “Crucial Conversations” some time ago, and his talk at the summit was a great reminder of how critical communication can be to the success of a leader.

Below I have shared the main points of his speech, but please don’t let that be enough. Buy and read his book!

Crucial Conversations:

  • Anytime you find yourself stuck, stop and ask, “What crucial conversation am l not having?”
  • When it matters most that we communicate well, we typically don’t.
  • Crucial conversations are either a pit or a path. We choose.
  • The myth that we can’t tell the truth and keep a friend is the cause of most of our dysfunction.

He also added this valuable advice for leaders:

How do you ensure that people know that they are safe with you?

In the first seconds of a crucial conversation:

  • Help them know you care about their goals.
  • Create a condition of safety and ensure they know that you care about them.

4. Carly Fiorina – former chairman & CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Ms. Fiorina took great care in describing the difference between management and leadership. Towards the middle of her talk she made a statement that basically summarized the essence of her speech.

“One of the main responsibilities of a leader is to unlock potential.”

If we as leaders made this one of our top priorities the results we so desperately seek would simply materialize.

5. Patrick Lencioni – founder of the Table Group & the bestselling author of 10 books (over 4 million copies sold)

Mr. Lencioni’s talk covered the most dangerous mistakes leaders make. The mistakes are as follows:

1. Becoming a leader for the wrong reason.

  • Often people don’t know their cause. (purpose)
  • A good leader wants to sacrifice themselves for the good of others. Leaders with no cause sacrifice the people.
  • If I’m leading for me solely, it will leave a tail of tears.

2. Unwilling to be vulnerable
3. Making leadership to important. (Taking ourselves too seriously)

Towards the end of his talk Mr. Lencioni made the following statement:

“If it’s not servant leadership then it’s just management and economics.”

Which end do you fall on as a leader?

6. Bill Hybels – Founder of the Global Leadership Summit & Senior Pastor of Willowcreek Community Church

Every year Pastor Hybels opens up the Global Leadership Summit and each year I learn something new from his leadership insights.

Here are a few key notes from what he shared:

  • Leadership is intensely spiritual. That is why we remember what a leader said to us decades ago.
  • Leaders are often given the gift of vision. It’s important for these leaders to remember that God treasures people more than visions. Thus, it’s important to care for the people as we go after the vision.

3 M’s of Meetings:

  • Move something ahead
  • Modify
  • Motivate

He ended his talk with a powerful statement:

“Leaders must have a ruthless commitment to resolving conflict.”

Tyler-Perry7. Tyler Perry – Filmmaker, Actor & Philanthropist

Anyone who knows of Tyler Perry knows that he’s a Christian, and has as many critics as he has fans. Mr. Perry offered up some of the best advice on how leaders should handle the criticism that we all will get at some point in our readership journey.

His advice on critics:

Instead of listening to your critics, choose rather to listen to how your work inspires the people you do your work for.

His message to his critics:

“The Bible says, “Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of my enemies…” That means I must have critics to watch me eat!”

I do hope the leadership lessons I’ve shared from this year’s summit, have provided you some clear perspective on ways to further develop your leadership.

Please leave a comment or reach out to me to share you key takeaways, and remember to stay inspired, it’s a lifestyle choice!

About the Author:

Linal Harris
Global Entrepreneur – Certified Life Coach – Media Personality – Speaker

Linal Harris is a global entrepreneur, certified life coach, author, and media personality. As the founder of Inspirational Perspective® Publishing, LLC and Insights 4 Life™ Coaching, LLC, Harris challenges his global audience and coaching clients to Murder Mediocrity® and live their best life possible. Harris concentrates his work as an ontological coach with clients on what he calls the 4 pillars of life; the relationship we have to ourselves, the relationships we have with others, our relationship to work and money, and the connection we have to our spirit and life’s purpose. Harris coaches CEO’s, executives, entrepreneurs, athletes and celebrities. Harris is the author of “Slay Your Goals”, where he provides his readers with scientific and research backed tips for achieving their goals. Harris is an expert goal-setter and has been called upon by Fortune 500 companies to assist with setting their strategic priorities, facilitate goal-setting sessions and provide inspirational talks.

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