In yesterday’s post, our VP of Sales David Wilding shared his personal highlights from the Global Leadership Summit. While he and I found something of value in just about every presentation at the summit (which was the second I’ve attended), three different speakers really stood out to me.
Alan Mulally, The Art of Working Together
We have a couple of aviation freaks at Access—I’m working on my private pilot’s license and our CEO, Tim Elliott, already has his. So the chance to hear the former CEO of Boeing share his wisdom was always going to be one of my favorite moments. What I found most interesting about Alan’s presentation was how he took the mechanical, methodical methods that he’d honed at Boeing and applied them to Ford. He said that many people questioned whether a plane guy had any business running a car manufacturer, and he told them that while a car has thousands of parts, a plane has millions, so he’d be OK!
Beyond the literal nuts and bolts of the assembly line, Alan’s example shows that it is possible to take a company that’s struggling and completely turn it around (no car pun intended). Ford didn’t need to take a government bailout after the 2008 financial quote, because its culture was already being transformed from the inside, and this would eventually put it back in the black without an injection of cash from Washington. This was a solid lesson in self-reliance and showed how culture has to come before financials. Alan also shared how a practical mind like his can view problems from new angles and had a lot of solid pointers on reshaping existing teams of people to make them more productive and innovative.
Dr. Travis Bradbury – Emotional Intelligence 2.0
When we think about intelligence, we all too often make the mistake of just focusing on someone’s educational credentials, their work experience, or how “book smart” they seem to be. Travis Bradbury opened my eyes to how vital emotional intelligence is as well. This doesn’t just work on an individual level, but also helps determine how well job candidates will do fitting in with their potential teammates.
Travis outlined the four areas of emotional intelligence as:
- Self-awareness—Understanding you own emotions and how what you do and say impacts others
- Self-management—How you regulate your emotions
- Social awareness—Acknowledging and understanding other people’s emotional states
- Relationship management—Changing your behavior to improve your interactions and relationships with those around you, based on daily experiences
One of the things I found most interesting was Travis’s assertion that up to 60% of job performance is emotional intelligence, and yet only 36% of people can correctly identify their emotions. Clearly there’s a lot of work to be done if we’re going to fully tap into our EQ potential.
The Q&A between host Bill Hybels and Melinda Gates was another standout session. One of the things that struck me about this extraordinary woman is just how “ordinary” she truly is. She grew up in a middle-class household in Dallas, got her degree at Duke, and went to work at Microsoft before meeting Bill and raising their kids. Now she’s doing an amazing job running their foundation and is still humble and down-to-earth.
While the Gates family is giving billions of dollars to improve the lives of people around the world, Melinda made it clear that everyone can and should help in some way. At Access, we support a range of causes, including The Last Well, who can give one person clean water for life for just $20. Melinda’s message was that even small actions can have a big impact.
It was also interesting to hear how the management techniques that made Microsoft so successful are now helping nonprofits be more efficient and effective. This shows that the right approach based on good intentions can work in any situation, at an organization of any size.