Sunday, October 22, 2017

Leading, Reading and Beading

(I just love it when a blog post title comes together so well.)

After a week of changes and challenges at work, I attended the 23rd Annual Global Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday.

Oh my goodnesssss.
Such a rich sixteen hours.

Three minutes of highlights:

A message from Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Canada on Vimeo.

If you get the chance to hear ANY of these speakers, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. I went to this conference, with my note book and pen expecting to get lists of ways to lead better. Like, say,

  1. Get up at 5 am
  2. Meditate for half an hour
  3. Exercise til the sweat is running...
  1. Plan meetings with your team once a month first thing on Monday mornings
  2. Have a feedback system established that deal with the top 5 production issues.
  3. Read a new management book, like "How to Lead", once a month. 

But it wasn't like that AT ALL. 

The presentations were personal and real and touched my heart waaaaay more than my brain and I totally wasn't prepared to have a steady stream of tears cascading down my cheeks. (I may have been a bit fragile ... My boss had just left Focus unexpectedly so I was still adjusting to my new reality. He was by far the best boss I'd ever had so this conference was not only equipping me to lead better, it was causing me to be reflective about the supervisors, bosses and leaders I've worked for.) I was at this conference because of him. He bought me the ticket. He has believed in me and my ability to lead since the day he hired me, even when I tried to quit after two days because I was having a complete breakdown. His words, after he'd checked to make sure I was seeing my doctor: "You've just lost your way, but I know you'll be fine. I am confident in your ability and skills and believe in you. And it's not just me, everyone we called when doing your reference checks was absolutely sure you could do this job. So take your time. Do what you need to do to get better and let me know how we can support you. Anything. Just ask me. We are here for you."

So I asked him if I could cut my hours back to 4 hours a day because I didn't seem to be able to concentrate much past that. And could I have an assistant to catch all the details I'd probably miss?

"Yes, four hours a day for as long as you need. You can work your way back up to 8 hours at your own pace. If it takes a few months, that's fine. There's no rush. And Laura, my assistant is yours. She's been here for years and is happy to work alongside you. You will be fine. I understand you've had a challenging year, so let's not add to your stress. I believe in you. You are exactly what we need here, and I am looking forward to working with you."

So yeah. I was mourning his leaving and making the mental adjustments required when a big change happens. 

But  - regardless of what was going on with ME, the presenters weren't all business. They shared stories intending to cause an emotional reaction. And they were brilliant at it. 

I can highly recommend this event. 
The actual summit takes place in Chicago in August at Willow Creek, but every October, CLA hosts the taped version of it. So worthwhile. 

(Although. I don't know if I lucked out and attended a particularly awesome one with an exceptional line-up, as Bill Hybels said at the end that it was his most favorite summit ever. Maybe he always says that? I don't know. But it really was awesome.)


I bought books from most of these presenters, which was a good thing as I went from the leadership conference to the lake where I was gonna hang out with the Plett sisters doing a Read-a-thon:

Those were their book stacks.

This is mine:

I only finished one book (Rachel finished three.)

I read Option B, written by the COO of Facebook. Her husband died two years ago, (unexpectedly in the gym) while they were on vacation in Mexico. She discovered his body hours later. They had two young children, and this book is about her first year of widowhood and how she made it through.

It's a great book on how to move forward when your Plan A life falls apart and you have to go with Option B. There's a science to it. Practical ways to step forward based on one social science or another. I was kinda gobsmacked by the way she approached it/researched it/trusted in the data.

While Rachel and I were reading, Rebekah was beading.

Isn't this exquisite?
She had bought old doilies from a thrift shop and managed to reshape them to look like tiaras. Then she added pearls and beads and bits and bobs to make it shiny and glittery and rich and elegant. I wish I'd taken a pic of this on her head, because It Was Soooo Pretty.

Also, when I do read-a-thons with these sisters, someone is always pregnant. Which was true again this year. But a variation from past years, is THIS TIME, a baby was along for the ride.


I guess I could've added "feeding" to the title of this blog...

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. So many new things to learn.
2. Sisters who read and bead and cook yummy chicken noodle soup dinners.
3. Smart people who share their stories in order to make the world a better place.
4. Books.
5. Rain on rooftops.

Shalom friends.
Have a good week xo


Tricia said...

The tiara is stunning! What a talented young woman.

September said...

Option B is one of my favourite books from the last year or two of reading. There’s something so compelling about people being real.