Friday, November 9, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Dan Clark

It’s not often you get to hear a truly dynamic speaker. Dan Clark is certainly one of those people. His speech this morning was filled with passion, energy, and inspiration. This was a rare occasion for me, not just because the guy gets thousands of dollars for a speech, but because he managed to entertain a large group of people in a huge auditorium at 7:30 AM, and not one person was sleeping. If you’ve ever been in a large lecture hall, then you know the environment I’m referring to.

His virtually flawless delivery lasted roughly an hour. He spoke about what it takes to succeed, some strategies to help get you where you want to be, and some challenges for leaders (specifically military personnel.)

Here are some of the take-aways:

-- There is always a person, place, or situation that can change your life: be aware and take advantage of different kinds of mentorship.

-- People that say there is no “I” in team probably lost; because there are two “I’s” in winning. Successful teams that win have players that consistently bring different aspects to the table night in and night out. There are no “off” days. The culture is about winning, and every person associated with that organization brings their individual strengths as a team pursues a common goal.

-- There are three key elements for success: (1) passion, (2) creativity, and (3) imagination. They can be the difference between success and failure.

-- Most of the negative things in your life happen because you ask the wrong questions. How you word things really matters, and affects those around you. Ask a positive question, you’re likely get a positive response.

-- Little things matter. Taking care of the details is an absolute must for organizational success.

-- There is a huge difference between discouraged and depressed. Discouragement is simply your response to things that don’t go your way; depression is a clinical diagnosis requiring medication—don’t get them confused.

-- As a leader, you must use your people differently, focus on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Sometimes, all somebody needs is a little positive reinforcement. Tell subordinates they are doing a great job.