Traveling from Minneapolis to Santiago, Chile, is an exciting journey halfway around the globe – 14 airline hours north-to-south. And yet, when the subjects are “goodness” and The Seven Fs, the bonding was instant, with friendships fast and close. For me, it was energizing to know my mission of “goodness pays” travels well.
International speaking is exciting
Chile is a modern South American nation, rich with natural resources, a diverse population and the financial foundations to create an instant connection with Americans. My appearance as the keynote speaker for the Human Capital conference was sponsored by an online HR outsourcing/consulting organization called Trabajando.com, headquartered in Santiago. Nearly 800 HR leaders gathered by invitation of the Trabajando CEO to explore the subject: Unlearn to Learn.
The event producer Tomas Hudson, found me halfway around the world through an internet search that landed on my TEDx Gustavus video. After my colleague Amy Tomczyk created a fertile platform by which to plant our seeds, Tomas hired me because he predicted the social/political climate of Chile was right to hear these messages:
Good leaders in Chile need to unlearn:
1. How we get work done: The Superhero model based on expertise, “because I said so” and “I out-rank you” is no longer effective in a society where the Internet has created a culture of transparency and inclusion.
2. How we create financial results: The relentless attention to financials eventually sucks the life out of people. I shared my signature story about the young CEO who lifted a cynical, toxic, beaten down culture by focusing on the Cornerstones of Goodness: rewarding excellence, living generously, promoting fairness and spreading positivity. When I shared the punchline of the story: “Because he radiates goodness!” the audience sighed and applauded.
3. How we create accountability: The best leaders create the best results today by creating an environment where: people actually care about one another, both personally and professionally – and they work together to build plans, and solve difficult problems. In this context, financial results and quality are a healthy outcome, not the sole focus of coming to work in the morning.
These messages were important, at this moment in time, in Chile – the way people are living and raising children in the Chilean society is progressing faster than the way people are working and leading. The predominant style is dominant, top-down and “because I said so.” No wonder the Seven Fs Wheel and the ideas around Goodness Pays drew applause, laughter and praise.
The resounding subtext for this event was Marshall Goldsmith’s famous assertion: What got you here, won’t get you there. That was true for the Chileans and for me: if our mission is to spread goodness far and wide, then I have to get out of my hometown!
With any luck, I will be selected to share the same message at the Trabajando Human Capital conference next year in Madrid.
Good leaders embrace a world of uncertainty as they live and work their mission. And they embrace the invitations from afar to spread goodness.
If you want to see my slides, send me a message here.
Please share with me: How well does your mission travel?