“Get your workbooks out. Let’s get to work.”

With that opening call to get down to business, best-selling business thought leader John Spence wasted no time kicking off day one of the workshop sessions at the Results 2017 Banff Leadership Retreat, which was followed by day two sessions led by highly popular authentic leadership guru and author David Irvine.  

Participants left the retreat with workbooks, notebooks and devices packed full of the wealth of tools, ideas and insights delivered. Here’s a “Top 10” of examples among the many nuggets of wisdom offered:

  • Celebrating a culture of both small and big wins. “Whether it’s a pat on the back or a team celebration, it’s important to always show people you truly care about them and they are important to you.” – Spence.
  • Realize authentic values are just that – real and part of the fabric of the person. “Sometimes you don’t really know what your values are until they’re tested under pressure. It’s not just about way you say . . . it’s about congruence between what you say and how you truly behave.” – Irvine
  • Wow your customers both internally and externally. “If you don’t wow your internal customers, your employees, it’s impossible for them to wow your external. Customer experience will never exceed employee experience.” – Spence
  • Be a leader rather than a boss. “An authentic leader helps people find their true voice and their gifts. It’s about presence – not position.” – Irvine.
  • Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. “The best leaders ask for help. It’s not weakness. It’s effective leadership.” –Spence.
  • Focus on three simple questions. “Ask yourself these to clarify why you get out of bed in the morning: What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need? The answers will help set your compass.” – Irvine
  • Be a living example to attract best team members. “You don’t get that person until you be that person. Be a living example.” – Spence
  • Recognize the difference between “competent” and truly healthy. “Striving for a health organization is about attaining a higher level of authenticity. It’s about connectedness versus individualization It’s a key to unleashing more power from your business.” — Irvine
  • Don’t settle for ‘good enough.’ “The top business issue today is tolerating mediocrity.” – Spence
  • Dysfunctional teams can destroy companies. “In all of my experience one thing that has come into sharp focus is that the group of people at the top of your company inevitably lead to success or lead to failure. A dysfunctional senior management team can destroy a company quite quickly.” – Spence

Bonus: Embrace lifelong learning as a fundamental to leadership.

“Keep asking questions and looking for answers. The struggle to keep searching and finding greater clarity indicates authenticity . . . it is a characteristic of authentic leaders.” – Irvine