Dozens of local business and civic leaders gathered on the campus of Bluefield College, May 6, for the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, a professional development opportunity featuring simulcast speeches from the likes of John Maxwell, Robin Roberts, Dan Cathy, Mack Brown and other internationally known leaders and speakers.
Sponsored by Chick-fil-A and broadcast live from Atlanta, Georgia, to more than 85,000 people at hundreds of locations around the world, including Bluefield College, the Leadercast was designed to inspire local business, civic and family leaders to “identify and develop (their) own leadership voice” and to be a “voice of change” at work, in the community, and at home.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the college to partner with Chick-fil-A to present exceptional speakers and leaders for your professional development,” said BC president, Dr. David Olive. “And, there is no other business organization I know of that emphasizes leadership development like Chick-fil-A. We hope you leave here today with new ideas, new concepts, and a renewed sense of energy to be voices of change in our community.”
Based on the theme “Voices of Change,” the daylong conference like none other in the region for “every leader at every level who aspires to articulate and demonstrate the power of change” featured live simulcast lectures, discussions and insights from some of the world’s best leaders, including Maxwell, an internationally known leadership expert and best-selling author of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership;” Roberts, the anchor of ABC TV’s Emmy award-winning Show “Good Morning America;” Cathy, president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A; and Brown, head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns football team and 2009 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.
“My life changed when I learned that everything rises and falls based on leadership,” said Maxwell during his presentation. “Leadership is influence.”
Maxwell spoke about five levels of leadership, including positional leadership (where people follow you only because of the title you hold), permission leadership (where people follow you because they like you), production leadership (where people follow because of what you’ve done for the organization), personnel development leadership (where people follow because of what you’ve done for them), and pinnacle leadership (where people follow because of who you are and what you represent).
Other simulcast speakers included Seth Godin, an entrepreneur, marketing expert, and best-selling author of 12 books, including “Linchpin;” Suzy Welch, television commentator, noted business journalist, and best-selling author; Dave Ramsey, personal money-management expert, national radio personality, and best-selling author of “The Total Money Makeover;” Muhtar Kent, chairman of the Board and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company; Sir Ken Robinson, best-selling author and leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources; Erin Gruwell, founder and president of the Freedom Writers Foundation; and Frans Johansson, best-selling author of “The Medici Effect.”
They spoke about innovation and helping others realize dreams through fresh perspectives and enthusiasm; purpose and directing others toward an envisioned destination; service and impacting others through generous gifts of time and talent; influence and humbly empowering and developing fellow leaders; and hope and inspiring others to plan for and expect better outcomes.
“Don’t stop here,” said Mike Wade, general manager of Chick-fil-A in the Mercer Mall in Bluefield, West Virginia, about the lessons learned during the Leadercast. “Continue to develop the ideas and the knowledge you take from this event today in your workplace, at home, and in your community.”
Bluefield College leaders added that in addition to developing and transforming leaders to impact the community, the Leadercast event supports the college’s efforts to better connect with the Greater Bluefield business community and to become more involved in local business activities.
“Bluefield College is a part of this community,” said Dr. Robert Shippey, vice president for academic affairs. “We live here. We work here. And, we have a purpose not only to educate our students in a caring, nurturing, Christ-centered environment, but also to share these same values and commitments with the community of which we are a part. Making the Chick-fil-A Leadercast available to the business leaders of our community and other interested citizens is one tangible way we can support economic growth and the quality of life here in the Bluefields.”
The college plans to host the Chick-fil-A Leadercast each spring. For more information or to sign up or serve as a co-sponsor next year, contact the BC Office of Public Relations at 276.326.4212.