World Leaders Conference Recap (Day 2, part 2)


The 2014 World Leaders Conference focused on the traits of a servant leader. In this third and final post I summarize lessons learned from Ray Titus, Katy Kay, Ken Blanchard, Henry Cloud, Jon Gordon, and Martin Sheen. You can also review notes from the WLC Day 1, and WLC Day 2 (part 1).

Ray Titus: Servant leaders evolve

Ray Titus is the co-founder and CEO of United Franchise Group, a global company focusing on business-to-business franchise systems. UFG also assists other franchise companies from conception to international expansion. Ray shared several ways leaders evolve in their lives and in their leadership. Here are some highlights:

How leaders evolve:

  • Leaders evolve by reading. Ray recommends: The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by McChesney, Covey, and Huling, and Straight-Line Leadership: Tools for Living with Velocity and Power in Turbulent Times by Dusan Djukich
  • Leaders evolve through determination. Ben Franklin quipped, "You can do anything you set your mind to."
  • Leaders evolve through learning. If you want to go, you have to grow. Leadership without knowledge is like a mouth without teeth.
  • Leaders evolve through planning. Changing times call for changing our strategic planning process. Ray and his team plan at one and three year increments, not at five and ten. Things are changing too fast. Companies must be fluid and mobile.
  • Leaders evolve by staying focused. Leaders focus on their company's financial position (manage cash flow; collect faster and pay slower). Leaders focus on their employees (Jack Welch evaluated all employees as to whether they were A, B, or C players? Promote "A's", Invest in "B's" and remove "C's"). Leaders focus on their strengths -- personally and as a company ("only do what only you can do"). You've got to be real about yourself and play to your strengths. Leaders focus on lead measures, i.e. actions that lead to your goals.
  • Leaders evolve with a positive attitude. A positive attitude, enthusiasm, and passion are essential. Celebrate successes. If you accomplish something great and don't celebrate what are you telling your people?
  • Leaders evolve through mentoring. Who are you mentoring (not raising up or managing, but mentoring)? Who is your mentor? "If you think you are a finished product, you are finished."

Katy Kay: Servant leaders value women

Katy Kay is Lead Anchor for BBC World News America and co-author of Womenomics. She addressed the importance of women in the workforce. Kay pointed out that women are the primary group caring for elderly parents. As individuals responsible for caring for children, elderly parents, and often many responsibilities in the home, how can women maintain an effective presence and impact in the workforce? The issue is one of flexibility.

About women in the workforce:

  • Pink profits: Companies that employ more women make better profits. Why? The issue is diversity. Women are valuable in the workforce, in part, because they work differently than men. Women are more collaborative and consensual, they think longer term, and generally they are better educated than men.
  • Consumer spending: Women control 82% of consumer spending.
  • Flexibility: This is what women want. When companies institute flexibility productivity can rise up to 40%. Katy Kay said, "I'm a big believer the 60-70, 70-80 hours-a-week mindset is not productive.
  • Get off the ladder: When women see their careers as a wave that may rise and fall rather than just "climbing the ladder" it makes journey less scary.

How women can move toward flexibility in the workforce:

  1. Say "No" to lesser administrative responsibilities. Pass them on to someone else. Work on what your boss and company really value.
  2. Tout your success. Let your boss know when you do well.
  3. Release a little control. Kay spoke of a time when she was leaving for a business trip. She had to let go of her desire to control what when on and how things were done by her husband as he cared for the family in her absence.
  4. Ask for it. The #1 reason people don't get flexible work schedules is because they don't ask for it.  Choosing what you want is part of the equation, asking for it is another.
  5. Grow in confidence. Researchers in the UK identified the real gap between men and women as one of confidence. When asked how much they desired to earn, men expected to earn 20% more and women 20% less. Kay said, "If we (women) are going to get ahead in life we need confidence as much as we need competence." She mentioned a press conference she attended where she had to force herself to "put my hand up." She was intimidated by the group and did not feel her question was that good. Reflecting on that time she said, "Was it the best question? No, but it did just fine."

Ken Blanchard: Servant leaders practice situational leadership

Ken Blanchard is cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies®, an international management training and consulting firm. Ken and Spencer Johnson's book, The One Minute Manager, has sold more than 13 million copies. Ken has also pioneered the situational leadership model, which he discussed at the WLC.

Ken reminded us of Peter Drucker's words, "Nothing good happens by accident." Good leaders develop great teams because they take the time to meet 15-30 minutes with each of their people every other week. Leaders invest this time to direct, coach, support, and delegate. As leaders combine directive and supportive behavior, they help their people win.

Henry Cloud: Servant leaders experience real connections

Dr. Henry Cloud is a leadership expert, best-selling author of more than 20 books, and a clinical psychologist. In his talk, "The Four Corners of the Leader's World," Dr. Cloud helped us see that we are made for relational connections, that those connections can be missing, damaging, temporarily fulfilling, or life-giving, i.e. real connections.

Every leader needs to know:

1.You exist and that existence is relational in nature.

2.You are looking for life from some “other.”

3.Leadership functioning comes from your connectedness with the “other.”

The 4 Corner Model:

Here is a breakdown of the four corners:

  • Corner #1 -- Corner of the disconnected
  • Some folks are either operating without a reception tower or there is a tower, but their receiver (which requires trust to operate) is broken. Trust drives relationships as well as the investment of people and dollars. If you are "disconnected" you are always searching for a signal.
  • Corner #2 -- Corner of bad connection
  • Searching for a relational signal, some folks "connect" with people that are unhealthy. Desiring to find some relationship, they gravitate toward those relationship where they get beat up emotionally. Is it good? No, but at least it is a relational connection.
  • Corner #3 -- Corner of momentary "good" connection
  • Since we are relationally bent, some will hide in relationships that are good for a moment, that is the relationship provides a momentary feeling of connection. Some pseudo connections that don't provide lasting or real connection: Food, illicit sex, money, performance, sports, hobbies.
  • Corner #4 -- Corner of real connection
  • This is the place in life where we have a buddy. These connections don't just make us feel good (like Corner #3), they are good. These relationships provide genuine companionship and friendship. They are safe and trustworthy.

Dr. Cloud emphasized that we build companies, teams, and creativity from Corner #4. Operating from Corner #4 you will be the best servant leader you can possibly be.

Jon Gordon: Servant leaders love, serve, and care.

Jon Gordon is the best-selling author of The Energy Bus. The Jon Gordon Companies are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams. Jon shared the story of "The Carpenter," a story about using your business to love, serve, and care for others.


  • We are who we are because someone loved us. Jon shared about the impact his step-father had on him as a man, father, and leader.
  • Your team will become who you are because of how you love them.
  • Good coaches focus on X's and O's. Great coaches know their people.


  • We serve because we love.
  • "A word that is not lived has no power in it."
  • Servant leadership is messy. Are we willing to get messy in order to serve?
  • Jon shared about the positive impact serving others has on us. He said, "The more I love my wife, the more I love my life."
  • Service is not about what I want that person to be, but about what that person is meant to be.
  • To serve well, ask three questions: (1)  What does my team need? (2) What can I do to bring out the best in my team? Gordon highlighted the impact of Billy Donovan (head basketball coach at the University of Florida) and Dabo Swinney (head football coach at Clemson University) as they truly cared for their players. (3) What does the world need and how I can I contribute to that?


  • When we care we let people know they matter.  The most successful companies care for their people (e.g. Publix).
  • When people care for us, we become great in their eyes.

Carpenters build things. Craftsmen create a work of art. We are carpenters/craftsmen when we love, serve and care for the people in our organization. It doesn't happen all at once, it happens one person at a time. Start with one person. Focus your heart on that person's heart, and you will grow the organization's heart as well.

Martin Sheen: Servant leaders are activists

Martin Sheen is an award-winning actor, social activist and humanitarian. Here are some highlights from his speech and the interview that followed:

  • "Acting is what I do for a living. Activism is what I do to stay alive."
  • About his father: "He was my first hero and the best man I ever knew."
  • Arrogance is ignorance matured.
  • Shrink the world of 7 billion: Click here for a perspective.
  • We are not asked to do great things, but to do all things with great care.
  • "One heart with courage is a majority." Robert F. Kennedy
  • "When we discover that we are loved we discover fire for the second time." Pierre Teilhard

How To Maximize The 2014 WLC

Sixteen speakers over a two days is a lot to absorb, digest, and apply. I would encourage you to read the post, "5 Ways To Maximize The 2014 WLC Experience." It is a road map for getting the most from the conference and from these posts. 

Give instruction to a wise person, and he will become wiser still;

teach a righteous person and he will add to his learning.

Proverbs 9:9 NET