The 12 Best Leadership “Warnings” From the Global Leadership Summit – #GLS2019

Last week I attended the Global Leadership Summit. 7,500 leaders from around the world learned from 14 outstanding speakers representing the best of corporate, nonprofit and religious circles. While the environment was positive and electric, many of the lessons taught came in the form of warnings for leaders who aren’t willing to do the hard work and have the difficult conversations that are essential in these challenging times. Those who avoid or abdicate the hard decisions are destined to fail.

Here are the one dozen "warnings":

  1. The CEO or executive director is the most important element in establishing a healthy culture. When the leader isn’t aware of this or not intentional about it, the result is a culture of neglect.
  2. When employees feel diminished by a negative culture they will shut down and stop trying. They may keep showing up, but they’ll never be able to give their best, and the truly talented, driven employees will soon leave to find more meaningful work.
  3. Generally, people are afraid to tell leaders bad news. The tendency will be to shade the truth, which makes it impossible for leaders to really understand what’s going on in the organization. Leaders must establish a culture and environment that allows for free speech without any fear of retaliation.
  4. When leaders show an appropriate level of vulnerability it gives others permission to do the same. This is a key towards building trust and a healthy culture.
  5. Leaders can have "control" or "growth", but not both. Control is an illusion.
  6. Some leaders think that having control, authority, and respect are the most important elements leading to successful leadership. Unfortunately, if that's your primary goal you'll never have a culture where connecting, vulnerability, authenticity and honesty exist.
  7. There's no changing the future without disrupting the present.
  8. Some leaders strive to have uniformity, conformity and consensus. Some go so far as to “game the system” trying to have all the leaders at the table “singing from the same hymnal.” This type of homogeneous team may get agreement, be supportive, and have fun, but it will never achieve high innovation and great productivity. Other talented, willing leaders will feel shut out. You'll lose your evangelical spirit. Decisions will lack depth, and the culture will feel elitist and exclusionary.
  9. If your environments has “high challenge” but “low support” employees will feel angry, stuck and lost. This creates a “Give Up Culture” for workers.
  10. You can never demand the right to be heard or followed. You must to earn the right. It's a faulty premise to think that you can request or demand your team’s allegiance.
  11. When leaders are overly confident, they may actually be masking fear and insecurity. This will predictably lead to damage to the organization's culture.
  12. Research is consistently demonstrating that diversity and inclusion increase in organization's productivity, awareness and innovation.
  13. Bonus Idea - Leaders who intentionally withhold negative information from their team will eventually cause severe harm to their organization, and destroy their own credibility in the process.

I hope these ideas will be helpful for your leadership challenges. It's my intent that these blogs will help you create new story endings that are meaningful, powerful and filled with hope.


Is your organization needing to change its culture or create a transformational plan? That’s what I help organizations do…I facilitate culture changing processes that help organizations achieve greater impact. Also, I provide leadership coaching to help executives and aspiring leaders become the fullest expression of who they’re intended to be.

If you're looking for coaching or consulting services, contact me -

@beckerbits #leadership #vision #culture #GLS2019 #concernedcucfriends #concordiauniversity #concordiachicago

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