August 25, 2022

Leadership Lessons We Learned from GLS 2022

As John C. Maxwell once said, “everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone.” All of us hold influence and impact those around us. But, what type of leaders are we? After all, “influence” works both ways. We have the ability to both lead people towards growth and prosperity, and the ability to lead them astray.

In the spirit of our core value of leadership, we intentionally set aside 2 days each year so that our entire team can attend the Global Leadership Summit (GLS).

GLS is the largest leadership conference in the world. Hosted by the Global Leadership Network (GLN), this two-day event helps people unlock their leadership potential and equips them to empower others. Each year, many of the most influential leaders in the world come together to share their insights and wisdom on leadership. Read on to hear our biggest lessons and takeaways from GLS 2022.

What Were Our Biggest Lessons from GLS 2022?

Great Leaders Operate in the Extremes

Craig Groeschel, founder and pastor at Life.Church and the author of the book, “Lead Like It Matters,” started the first session by talking about the leadership paradox. The leadership paradox refers to seemingly contradictory leadership qualities that work synergistically to create the most leadership impact.

Great leaders are both confident and humble. They’re both driven and healthy. Great leaders are urgent and patient, direct and kind, focused, and flexible. They exhibit opposite traits in full measure, simultaneously. Former Navy Seal, Jocko Willink describes these paradoxes as the dichotomies of leadership.

Craig Groeschel encouraged us to grow in our individual extremes. Some of us are stronger in one area than others. The goal of a great leader isn’t to sacrifice one quality for the sake of the other but to grow in each opposing quality equally. Craig argues that the most influential leaders in history operated in the extremes. Jesus was the ultimate example of leadership and possessed the perfect balance of these opposing qualities.

Great Leaders Think Differently

Four different speakers touched on the importance of mindset and thinking. Each of them approached this topic from a unique perspective.

Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards, the Founder & Lead Behavioral Investigator at the Science of People, talked about how great leaders actually think differently. Research shows that one characteristic of great leaders is their ability to understand and relate to the people they lead on a deeper, more emotional level.

One way they connect with people is by asking good questions. Instead of asking someone, “How are you doing?” when they greet them, great leaders ask questions like, “What was the highlight of your day?” Successful leaders approach people and situations differently.

Dr. Heidi Grant

Social psychologist and science of leadership expert, Dr. Heidi Grant, talked about how success comes from your mindset and how you possess the ability to change your mindset. There are only 2 types of mindsets.

  1. Fixed Mindsets
  2. Growth Mindsets

Successful leaders possess growth mindsets, which is the main reason for their success. When a person has a fixed mindset, they aim to prove their ability and compare themselves to others. This makes them vulnerable when things don’t go well and leads to anxiety. When a person is anxious, it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, and their performance suffers. One way to recognize whether you have a fixed mindset is if you say things like, “I don’t have the ability to do that.”

Leaders with a growth mindset don’t set out to prove their ability but instead aim to improve their ability.
Instead of comparing their skill level to others, leaders with growth mindsets will compare their skill level today to what it was yesterday. Instead of saying, “I don’t have the ability to do that,” they say “I don’t have the ability to do that yet.

Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff, leadership expert and New York Times bestselling author of “Soundtracks” talks about the dangers of negative thoughts and overthinking. Jon believes that overthinking is one of the worst mistakes a leader can make. It prevents potentially great ideas from ever being implemented because we dismiss the idea before it ever leaves our brains.

Jon talked about how we all play soundtracks in our minds that inform the decisions we make. These soundtracks come either in the form of great thoughts or negative thoughts. Great leaders identify their negative thoughts and work to create new ones. There are 3 questions we can ask to sniff out negative thoughts.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it helpful?
  3. Is it kind?

Asking ourselves these questions helps us identify negative thinking. Jon argues that thoughts either come by choice or by chance and that great thoughts lead to great actions.

Sahar Hashemi

Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic and bestselling author of “Start Up Forever,” talks about having a start-up mindset. Sahar argues that the entrepreneurial spirit is more than just starting up a business – it’s a mindset that great leaders maintain long after they launch their company.

Leaders can lose their start-up mindset if they aren’t constantly cultivating it. Losing their mindset is harmful because it’s what brought them success in the first place. People with a start-up mindset will see a problem they want to solve and ask how they can solve it instead of waiting on others. They become their “first” customer.

People with start-up mindsets don’t worry about their lack of knowledge when it comes to solving a problem. They give themselves license to ask really stupid questions. Sahar argues that “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” We have the ability to cultivate a start-up mindset and find our purpose by changing our attitude and perspective toward problems that need to be solved.

The World Needs Great Leadership

How much better could our world be if we had more great leaders at all levels of society? Again, one aim of GLS is to empower tens of thousands of people across the globe to bring a positive impact to those around them. Pandemics, social unrest, and economic uncertainty have underscored the need for greater leadership.

Andy Stanley, Founder and Pastor of North Point Ministries, spoke during the final session and left us with this quote.

“Reactions speak louder than words and actions.”

Great leaders know how to respond in the face of uncertainty and remain grounded even in the most tumultuous of times. Our world needs great leadership now more than ever.

PHOS Grows Leaders

At PHOS, we truly believe that leadership doesn’t require a title. We aim to celebrate leadership when it’s displayed on our team and cultivate it through professional development. We provide free books on leadership to our team members and have them scattered throughout the studio.

GLS 2023 will be here before you know it and we’re already pumped just thinking about it! Feel free to connect with us and let us know if you’re interested in attending next year’s GLS. We would love to have you join us!

Zach Heern

Zach has years of sales and marketing experience working both in the trenches and as a CMO–managing marketing teams of 4-6 representatives for multi-million dollar companies across multiple industries. He’s especially passionate about helping small and medium sized businesses. Zach enjoys using his experience to help clients maximize ROI by utilizing the most effective channels to reach current and potential clients. Moreover, he treasures building genuine, lasting relationships with his clients and seeing them achieve their marketing goals.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Zach exploring the many springs and beaches around Florida with his wife and 2 children. He also enjoys trading and talking cryptocurrency, good coffee, progressive bluegrass, reading books by old Puritans, and all things keto.