I was wiped out after Saturday's event - a thoroughly inspiring and immersive day of great speakers and fascinating topics. I was only attending, I cannot imagine how exhausted the TEDx team must be feeling. An incredible job and I applaud each of them for committing to such an event. A stellar job right across the board and I hope they all are feeling rightly satisfied with their achievement. As TEDx Design Partner, I was very happy to get involved and be a part of this milestone event.
Reflecting on this - Aberdeen’s first (but I’m sure not last) TEDx conference - it was clear that there was a number of common topics that resonated with me whilst also challenging my assumptions. It is vital for anyone who attended to dig deep into their own approach to business, leadership and personal development and allow what you hear to both strengthen your resolve and push you out of your comfort zone. There were many more, but here are some key takeaways that meant a lot to me:
A New Kind of Leadership
Any substantive and long-lasting change requires a new kind of leadership. Leaders who are committed to the longer view and who believe that to ensure success, a broader range of your stakeholders must be brought with you - colleagues, clients, customers and communities.
Change Needs Grit
Anything worthwhile is hard work, therefore ensuring your business and making the most out of our potential will take time, effort and resilience. ‘Grit’ is what we all need - grit to look to the longer game, grit to stop wanting the quick win, grit to realise that the older ways are gone and we need fresh new ideas from a wider range of participants.
But Change Starts with You
What change in yourself can you make to better lay the groundwork for your own development and the business growth you seek? Whether it is how your mood affects your day-to-day, or whether there is a particular grain of sand in the gears of your own approach, we must look inwards first to make the change.
“Real transformative change can only really happen when those communities are fully engaged with and as committed to your cause as you are.”
Strength of Community
Change for the community needs the community. Whether a geographic region or group of people and businesses within a specific sector of society, real transformative change can only really happen when those communities are fully engaged with and as committed to your cause as you are.
The White Sheet of Paper
Change often feels like throwing everything out and starting again. It can be difficult to see what’s already working and what to build on. The temptation to think of it like a white sheet of paper where your new future can be rendered is a compelling one. However, the foundation for change and innovation often already exists in what you currently have - whether recombinant innovation, ongoing scientific endeavour or learning more from the natural world, we are all standing on the shoulders of giants. The ground has been set, what are you going you build upon it?
Over the weeks to come, I’m sure more will seep through in my thoughts and actions - I only hope I can do it justice as I continue on my own wonky development path. Leadership often feels like a long bus journey - you know where you need to be but sometimes the stops on the way feel in the wrong direction, counterintuitive and that there must be a shorter route - an easier way to get from A - Z.
Realising now that these stops are the whole point and that getting it wrong, adapting and going again is the only way to get where you need to go.