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Great Leaders Learn from Tension: 10 Truths From #GILDAsia

August 16, 2017 Sarah Breigle

This is a big moment in history for Linkage. Our signature program, Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development® (GILD), debuted in Singapore for the first time in July. GILD was created 21 years ago—the brainchild of a collaboration between our founder, Phil Harkins, and the late, great Warren Bennis. To date, we’ve welcomed over 10,000 senior leaders from around the globe to embark on this unique journey of learning and self-discovery.

Throughout the week, world-class faculty, coaches and learning team leaders challenged us to think in new and different ways about what’s next for each of us and how to lead purposefully. There were countless moments of inspiration—but we’ve boiled it down to 10 statements that capture the energy and essence of leadership.

  1. Great leaders learn from experiencing tension and not having all of the answers. Linkage GILD Asia co-chair Sam Lam encouraged us to think about the big picture of leadership today—and our own journey to greatness.
  2. Trust forms the foundation for everything—and is critical to driving organizational outcomes. According to Dave Logan, trust is about creating an environment where your team feels safe to take risks.
  3. Leadership is like performance driving. According to Chris Cappy, we must be in a constant learning mode—willing and able to shift gears, and confidently work toward a goal.
  4. Communicate as often as possible and be visible—engage in conversation in the lunch line. “People will forget the CEO long before they will forget the toilet cleaner,” said Sir Andrew Witty, former CEO, GlaxoSmithKline.
  5. Relationships are central to your role as a leader. Leadership doesn’t occur unless you have followers. Emotional intelligence researcher Richard Boyatzis shared why.
  6. Engage with others in a way that empowers them. Give up the role of executing—you can’t get to second base when your foot is still on first, says Wall Street veteran Carla Harris.
  7. The critical voices in our head are actually our ticket to happiness—and to successfully leading from a place of compassion. According to Linkage’s Susan MacKenty Brady, the first step is pausing to notice what triggers you.
  8. Energy is the essence of leadership. Fast Company founder Alan Webber shared a practice to create energy: Respect, Gratitude, Proportion and Purpose.
  9. Digital business transformation is the defining leadership challenge for this generation. Professor Venkat Venkatraman posits that we must accept and embrace our current reality: that digitalization drives every part of how our organizations create and capture value.
  10. Purpose is not a luxury—it is fundamental. Executive coach Richard Leider shared sage advice: It’s up to each one of us to uncover our calling by living the fundamentals of the good life. Are you fulfilling your life purpose? Answer these seven questions now to find out.

Which moment resonated most with you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Mark your calendars for October 22–27, 2017 and join us in Palm Desert, CA for your own journey to purposeful leadership.

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Women in Leadership Institute

NOV. 13–16, 2023 | Orlando, Florida, or Virtual
A 4-day immersive learning experience designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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