Len Schlesinger is currently the president of Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts. Before his work with Babson, he spent 20 years teaching as a professor at the Harvard Business School. Schlesinger is also the author of many books on the subject of organizational leadership.
Schlesinger’s talk at the summit was titled, “Action Trumps Everything,” which also happens to be the title of a recent book he co-authored with Charles F. Kiefer and Paul B. Brown. I felt like Schlesinger’s talk was structured in a way that moved from a very broad visionary point-of-view to the nitty-gritty of entrepreneurship. I’ve structured my notes to try to capture the structure of his presentation.
Schlesinger began his talk by referencing a presentation Bill Hybels gave at the previous year’s Global Leadership Summit. Hybels spoke on, “Getting from Here to There.” Schlesinger explained the gist of the presentation as, “Leaders must come to the realization that when casting a vision, they are trying to convince people to move from where they are comfortable (possibly) to a place they are unsure about.”
Dr. Henry Cloud is a clinical psychologist and leadership consultant. He is the bestselling author and coauthor of over 20 books, including Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. At the conference, Henry Cloud spoke about the three types of people leaders come in contact with in their organizations and how to deal with them.
Cloud began his session by affirming the Biblical view that as a leader, “wherever you are, God has called you to be a steward for a vision,” (Daniel 2:21, Romans 13:1). As the steward of an organization’s vision, there will be times when it is necessary to correct the actions of employees, but sometimes a leader is at a loss for how exactly to handle particular situations. Cloud described how, while coaching and providing leadership consultation, leaders would begin describing their leadership team and employees, discussing their day-to-day schedules, and inevitably would begin describing a situation where they would begin with, “So, I have ‘This Guy.'” After listening to the various descriptions of “This Guy,” from his many clients, Cloud has classified the types of employees that sometimes confound leadership. Once an employee is classified, leaders will be able to better deal with the person. Continue reading
Seth Godin is an out-of-the-box thinker and prodigious author. He’s written several books that you have probably heard of and might have read, such as: Tribes, Poke the Box, and his most recent, Linchpin. Godin’s presentation at the summit stitched the big ideas from several of his books together, but the overarching idea of his presentation was to be an artist.
Godin believes the industrial age is over. Workers are no longer an important component in industry, workers are cogs. Mass production has created a workforce of interchangeable people; competency is no longer a scarce commodity as it once was. A great comment from Godin illustrating the point was, “If the steps of your job can be written down, I can find a way to do it cheaper.” Continue reading