Lisa Nirell's Marketing Waves Blog

New Video: Leadership Lessons from Leon

Fake news. Political vitriol. Legislative gridlock. Trigger-happy dictators. These topics currently occupy much of our mainstream media feed in the U.S.  Unfortunately, they perpetuate fear-based stories that beget more fear—and sometimes, feelings of lack, limitation, and separation. Is there a silver lining to this negativity? Can we extract any leadership lessons from this moment in history?

Some citizens and leaders respond by investing in the opposition party. They are signing petitions, attending town hall meetings, reaching out to elected officials, and finding myriad peaceful means to influence our political diaspora. Sadly, however, a large number permanently turn off their news feed and go silent. They feel helpless and have not yet found a way to channel their frustration.

Before we let our negative feelings fester, and potentially impact our well-being, let’s take a moment to reflect on the rise of political resistance. Ask ourselves: “what leadership lessons can I take from this very brief moment in history? What’s good about this situation? How can I use empathy and compassion to navigate these difficult times? Not just empathy for those who feel separated, angry, and disenfranchised–but empathy for myself, and how I’m reacting?”

Reflection allows us to propel our anger into peaceful action. This is true in our personal lives, political lives, and professional lives. We may live in a time of rebellion and resistance, but that doesn’t mean we have to immerse ourselves in negativity, victimhood, and other career-limiting mindsets. In fact, for every negative news story, you can find dozens of stories that inspire us. These stories help us view the world in ways that honor our values, the planet, and diverse thought. Aeon and Upworthy reinforce that theory.

As we prepare for our 3rd annual CMOs Leading Innovation Conference (CLIC ’17), we are looking forward to creating that time to share these stories. Leon Logothetis, star of the acclaimed Netflix series, “The Kindness Diaries,” global adventurer, & philanthropist, will kick off the conference and conversation.

In this 12 minute video, Leon shares his perspective on “the kindness rebellion.” We covered a variety of provocative topics, which include:

  • What motivated him to quit his high-paying career in London
  • Leon’s strategies for mastering both worlds: capitalism and our hearts
  • The first step to practicing empathy
  • A modern-day company who has found a balance between kindness and the pursuit of profit
  • Memorable leadership lessons from Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali

The CLIC ’17 agenda also includes time to learn how today’s high performing marketing leaders are using resistance to their advantage. These are some questions we will explore:

  • At what stages in a company’s growth cycle does innovation resistance work in your favor?
  • How does GE Energy Connections overcome status quo when launching major e-commerce initiatives?
  • What kind of marketing culture does SRI International cultivate to disrupt product categories and business models (akin to Siri)?
  • What communications strategies does QASymphony’s CMO, Jeff Perkins, deploy to gain the CFO’s commitment to key marketing initiatives?

P.S. You may wonder why you do not see my face on this video. My webcam wasn’t working properly, and it made me look like I was sitting behind a sheer curtain. (Does anyone remember Elizabeth Taylor’s “White Diamonds” TV ad? That was the look.) Thankfully, Jamie made some edits to spare my dignity. Leon and I still had a terrific discussion. Enjoy it here.

Related posts:

24 Questions to Eliminate Marketing Innovation Barriers

FastCompany: 10 Steps to Save Time and Restore Your Creativity

HuffPost: What Successful Leaders are Reading this Summer

Copyright 2017, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

 

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