I’ve known about Chick fil A Leadercast for the last 2-3 years and I’ve always wanted to go. The best thing that I could do was follow all of the inspirational tweets using their hashtag while doing my daily job at work. It just wasn’t the same though. I wanted to go so badly this year. Funny enough over the last 2 weeks I’ve heard Dan Cathy speak at the Fayette Young Professionals event at the Fayette Chamber in Fayetteville (lots of Fayette used in that sentence, forgive me ). He brought his inspirational leadership toolkit. I was so excited because I’ve been inspired by his blog for years. Then last Friday, I heard Dwain Cox, Chick fil A Innovator at Creative Mornings Atlanta. Both were inspiring and motivated me for sure. Their discussions focused on “leadership”. That’s one area that we all can benefit by growing in and I know it’s an area of my life that needs developing. By the way, not only did I get to here those great speeches, but while on a date in Hapeville looking for TCBY, I had to tell my guy about The Original Dwarf House. He’s not from Georgia and didn’t know they existed. We happened to stop this Thursday and Dan Cathy was in there filming. By the way, the TCBY is closed in Hapeville, I was so sad because I really wanted some but at least we found that Chick fil A instead
I went to bed Thursday night not really thinking any of this was a coincident and wishing that I could attend Leadercast. I almost bought a ticket to one of the satellite locations but since I lost my job mid April (another blog post entirely), I decided not to. I woke up Friday morning with an invitation to attend Leadercast from a Twitter follower who has since become my friend over time named Kentara. We went to West Georgia, but our relationship has grown because of social media. Working in social media, I always get questioned on the value of using these tools. This, amongst many other amazingly wonderful things that has happened in my life simply due to using social media should serve as examples. Kentara won her Leadercast tickets. The person who was coming with her cancelled. So at 6:59 am on Friday I had to push myself to get ready and arrive at the Georgia World Congress Center before 8:30 am. I didn’t think I could because I stayed up way too late Thursday having a “woe is me moment” and feeling a little down. I’m so glad that I motivated myself to get going! Leadercast was worth me getting up and so much more!
I really loved the colors and setup done by Giant Impact. It didn’t even feel like the Georgia Dome anymore with the cool touches they added.
I enjoyed every single speaker. They all offered something unique and special for me to take away about leadership and service. Here are a few powerful quotes that motivated me:
“Uncertainty drives us crazy and makes us leaders.” – Andy Stanley
“Growth is not automatic, it’s intentional.” – John C. Maxwell
“We are all the sum of our choices, effective leaders empower others and themselves with choices.” – Dr. Sheena Iyengar
“Kids will live down or up to whatever expectations we have for them.” – Dr. Roland Fryer
I was also incredibly motivated by the Burberry CEO, Angela Ahrendts. She discussed how she put what’s best for the Burberry brand first and allowed young people in her company to embrace and flourish in creative and leadership roles. Using their advice, Burberry launched the very successful Art of the Trench and established their digital presence. (The site also has some great original music) I admired her ability to admit that she doesn’t speak “digital” but she had the wisdom to seek out opinions of younger employees for their opinion and she respected their advice. That’s hard for many CEOs to admit.
I also enjoyed learning more about Tim Tebow outside of Twitter trends, media commentary and online opinions of others. He is doing so much for the community and for others. His outreach is admirable and he spoke eloquently about service and compassion.
The volunteers were so nice and helpful. My least favorite thing about the conference was the tight seating arrangements. I felt like we were squeezed in like sardines! However, Tripp Crosby the emcee announced that the Leadercast event has outgrown the Georgia World Congress Center and next year will be held at the Gwinnett Arena. That’s great, I could definitely tell it was a bit cramped in there. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend. Amazing how things fall into place Have a great Saturday!