Banff, ALBERTA: Cutting-edge ideas and tools for success from top business and personal development thought leaders John Spence and David Irvine took centre stage amid the majestic Rocky Mountains, as business leaders gathered in Banff, Alta., March 12-14, for the Results 2017 Banff Leadership Retreat, hosted by Results Canada Inc. Major sponsor of the event was Direct-Tec Inc.
“There’s no better place than a world-class setting like this to truly re-charge, re-energize and take stock of the opportunities ahead,” says Spence, a world renowned thought leader and author of the business best seller Awesomely Simple. “As business leaders, it starts with you. Your companies, your teams, their families, the culture and communities connected to your influence. The better leader you are the more successful they’ll be. This retreat is all about heading further down that path of improvement.”
In highly focused, engaging, interactive workshops, the thought leaders both challenged and inspired participants at the sold out three-day event, attended by a broad cross-section of Western Canada’s small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) sector. The program not only addressed the key components of success in today’s business world, but also the underlying personal elements essential for authentic leadership and the uniquely rewarding brand of sustainable, values-aligned achievement that flows from that base.
“Authentic leadership today starts with establishing the right foundation, and that involves a personal journey,” says David Irvine, a leading mentor and author of the recently released Caring is Everything: Getting to the Heart of Humanity, Leadership and Life, whose work has contributed to the building of hundreds of vital and engaged organizations throughout North America and beyond. “I thank you for taking the time and making the investment to embark on this journey. What we’re doing here is thinking and reflecting, which is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. One of the most valuable things I have learned over the years is that if you want to make small changes, then change the way you do things; but if you want to make big changes, change the way you see things – that’s our focus at this retreat.”
Fundamentals of advanced leadership
Over the course of an often lively and fluid presentation, peppered with wisdom-rich anecdotes from years of experience coaching top business teams, Spence delivered and invigorating advanced leadership crash course covering principles, practices, lessons and strategies for success. He ended on a powerful personal note, sharing his own recent experience tackling challenges.
“Challenges are inevitable and the journey to success ultimately does not have an end – it’s about continually working on it,” says Spence, who has been named a Top 100 Business Thought Leader in America. “It’s also about teamwork and relying on those around you. It’s about adhering to the right principles and doing your best to apply them every day, so that when you wake up six months from now your business is different and your life is different – both for the better.”
Aligning personal integrity with professional success
Irvine, “The Leader’s Navigator,” took the baton and expanded on the foundation of thoughts presented by Spence, delving further into the elements of personal leadership that ultimately everyone must explore and then define for themselves, through seeking alignment with their own values, strengths and priorities.
“Being honest with yourself and grounding your approach in truth is essential,” says Irvine. “I firmly believe great leaders must seek substance, depth and strength of character, to establish clarity about your authentic self and carry that forward into leadership presence, practices and culture alignment. Authentic leadership is about presence, not positon – and you can’t fake it. Personal integrity is one of the essential pillars enabling each one of us to successfully navigate toward becoming better leaders.”
Equally important is caring, says Irvine. “When someone makes a strong positive impact on people lives often what you hear about what made them great is the simple phrase ‘because they cared.’ That’s what makes people great leaders, great parents, great citizens – because they care. Without authentic caring, you don’t have the compass to deliver on leadership potential.”
Driving progress through disciplined execution, accountability
Critical components of effective leadership underscored by both speakers were disciplined execution and accountability – bedrock elements of business success long championed by retreat host Results Canada Inc.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to hear and learn from the caliber of thought leaders at this retreat,” says Jeff Tetz, Practice Director, Results Canada, who delivered wrap-up comments on behalf of the host team. “Thank-you to everyone who participated and contributed to making this a great event, from the though leaders, organizers and sponsors to the business community represented here today.”
Participants left armed with a wealth of notes, to-do’s and ideas, along with a core concluding challenge issued by Spence, Irvine and Results Canada, as articulated by Results Canada CEO Tim O’Connor: “The ultimate value of the retreat is not simply in what was captured during the sessions, but rather in what each person does with the information afterwards.”