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Executive Leadership Coaching

3 minute read

Top 5 Leadership Lessons from EntreLeadership Summit 2019

May 14, 2019

Written by: Shawn Sweeney

At Spinnaker, we’re lifelong learners who believe in the importance of investing in our personal and professional growth. We’re hands-on leaders who roll up our sleeves and work together to solve problems. We’re drivers and doers who understand the value of leading by example — and our executive leadership team would never ask the Spinnaker team to do something we wouldn’t do ourselves. That includes striving to be our best selves through improvement and growth, as leaders as well as experts in our field.

The Spinnaker leadership team recently ducked out of the everyday challenges of our busy consulting firm to immerse ourselves in the opportunity to learn and grow at the EntreLeadership Summit 2019 in San Diego. The event invites trailblazers and rule-breakers who aren’t ready to settle for the norm, leaders who desire new and different results, and those committed to learning, striving, and being unsatisfied with the status quo. That describes Spinnaker to a tee! Does it describe you, too?

Throughout the four-day conference, we heard from an outstanding lineup of experts, business giants, and thought leaders, including best-selling author Simon Sinek, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, and businessman, best-selling author, and conference host Dave Ramsey. We filled our tablets with pages of notes, ideas, and action items to take back to the office.

As promised for those who followed our EntreLeadership posts on LinkedIn — and for everyone interested in taking your own leadership to the next level — we’re excited to share with you our top 5 Leadership Lessons from EntreLeadership Summit 2019.

Top 5 Leadership Lessons from EntreLeadership Summit 2019

Leadership Lesson #1: Focus on Your Infinite Game

As Simon Sinek explained, business is not a finite game. Leaders focused on being #1 are playing a finite game — they’re “in it to win it.” But business is an infinite game, and the best leaders are in it to keep playing, to outlast and outdo themselves. At the top of our leadership lessons is focusing on being infinite-minded by doing the following:

  1. Advance a just cause by sharing an ideal vision of the future people will sacrifice themselves to achieve.
  2. Create trusting teams by building an environment where trust can thrive, where people say “I love my job” because they’re part of something bigger than a paycheck.
  3. Admire worthy rivals who will fuel your desire for continuous improvement, advancement, and innovation.
  4. Practice existential flexibility by being open to a better future and being willing to make changes and sometimes giant leaps to stay in the game.
  5. Have the courage to lead, recognizing the game you play in and its rules aren’t always aligned — which is why we need leaders.

Leadership Lesson #2: Address the Five Dysfunctions of Your Team

Respected team management expert, author, and business leader Patrick Lencioni walked us through his book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, describing the pitfalls that need to be addressed in order for teams to truly succeed and thrive. Those five dysfunctions and ways to address them are:

  1. Absence of trust: Share experiences and demonstrate follow through to build trust and credibility.
  2. Fear of conflict: Realize conflict can be productive and encourage respectful open dialogue.
  3. Lack of commitment: Make joint and transparent decisions in which all voices are heard — though all need not agree.
  4. Avoidance of accountability: Measure progress and clearly define standards and responsibities to create an environment in which everyone holds one another accountable.
  5. Inattention to results: Share team results clearly, and recognize actions that contributed to those results.

Leadership Lesson #3: Lead with Courage

According to Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 Tomcat Pilot in the U.S. Navy, leaders must lead with courage. That means accepting the risk of failure, and not allowing yourself to get paralyzed by indecision. The secret to success in a high-pressure, fast-moving, dynamic environment — like your business and ours — is moving forward with courage, tenacity, resilience, and integrity, and overcoming obstacles together, one step at a time. You can learn more in her book “Fearless Leadership.”

Leadership Lesson #4: Line Up Your “Rights”

In his book “The Proximity Principle,”, Ken Coleman explains how the right people plus the right places equal more and better opportunities in your life. The big ideas we took away from his session are:

  1. You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.
  2. Be around people who push you, lift you, and hold you accountable. The right people help you get to the right places.
  3. Leaders put themselves in places where they can learn and grow.
  4. Leaders who stop learning are no longer leading.
  5. One of the most important places leaders need to be in is a place of rest — intentionally quieting your head and heart.

Leadership Lesson #5: A Rising Tide Raises All Ships

If you’re still reading this, you’re open to learning and growth, and transforming yourself as a leader, just as we are. We were energized by what we heard at EntreLeadership Summit 2019 — and we took to heart the theme of the event: A Rising Tide Raises All Ships. What does that mean? The better you do, the better your team does, and the better your business does. So rise up! Remember, it’s all connected. To that end, we’ll close by sharing just one more leadership lesson that hit a nerve with each of us, in hopes that it will also inspire you to keep rising.

Shawn Sweeney, Managing Partner: You didn’t come this far, to only come this far. — entrepreneur and author Jesse Itzler.

Chris Landrum, Principal: People need more reminders versus instruction. — Patrick Lencioni

Brett Ludden, Principal: Audibles are part of the plan, they are grounded in preparation, awareness, and recognition. — football great Peyton Manning

At Spinnaker, we’re the go-to resource for the real-time results you need now, and the lasting impact you depend on to strengthen your business in the future. Our expertise, agility, and first-hand business knowledge move your business forward. To find out more, connect with us today.