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Q&A Forum

How are you growing as a leader?

On August 5 and 6, 2015 the Willow Creek Association is having its annual global leadership summit. A partial list of the faculty includes: Sallie Krawcheck (former president of BoA’s Global Wealth and Investment Management), Adam Grant (Professor at Wharton School of Business), Ed Catmull (Co-founder of Pixar and President of Disney Animation), Jim Collins (author of several books, including Good to Great), and Horst Schulze (founding president and former COO of the Ritz-Carlton Group). It made me think back to one of my first posts on Proformative about what successful CFOs read. Here’s the link: Continuing education aside for licensing purposes, what are you currently reading or engaging in to stay fresh in business? What are you doing to grow as a leader? I am attending the above event at no cost to my employer. By no cost, I mean they didn’t pay for my ticket, nor am I being paid for those days I am off. I guess technically I am being paid, but by a reduction to my vacation time. The importance of me stating this is to help people see that we, as professionals, must build into ourselves even if it costs us something. If you aren’t learning because someone isn’t paying your way, I submit to you that you aren’t really a true leader. Leaders are learners, irrespective of who’s paying the bill. As a continual learner, I am interested in what others are doing to sharpen their skills. So let me know. Don’t forget about the courses here on Proformative if you’ve done them.


James Scott
Title: Consulting CFO
Company: Early Growth Financial Services
LinkedIn Profile
(Consulting CFO, Early Growth Financial Services) |

Just finished reading Think Bigger on the Internet of Things and Big Data. Now reading Thirteeners, a great book to give a CEO. I recently attended free conferences hosted by Rackspace and AW and other NJ Technology Council and NJ Meetup events. And am active in the IMA and attend 5-6 CPE networking dinner/learning events yearly, as well as webinars. Proformative is a great resource too, for finance/accounting stuff. Listen to Ted Talks when on the train and CD's in car. And reading some fiction, too.

Steve Sheridan
Title: Associate
Company: Dean Lewis Associates
(Associate, Dean Lewis Associates) |

If I may offer a simple answer, talking to your coworkers can help you grow as well. As they share problems and solutions with you, you learn. As you hear things and see things happen, you adapt. As you take action on these things, you grow.

Bryan Fritz
Title: Taoist Finance Officer
Company: Business Consultant
LinkedIn Profile
(Taoist Finance Officer, Business Consultant) |

I have learned a great deal reading business books, watching ted talks and youtube, reading articles and pursuing knowledge. In fact, the business book that impacted me the most was "The Law of Success" by Napoleon Hill. However, despite all of this the greatest leadership attributes I have learned, by "unlearning." In other words, erasing much of the conditioning that is written in our minds as we grow up. I have done this through meditation, reflection, Qigong and other techniques created to understand the nature of our own minds. It is important to remember there are many forms of leadership. I think when most people talk about leadership in business some are referring to the "Rock Star" CEO that everyone loves, but others think of the servant leadership model like Ghandi as well. That said, one is "Ego" based and the other is not. It is important to understand what direction you are trying to head before you spend a lot of time going down a path you were not intending.


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