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Glad to see you back. I am looking forward to hearing more of your insights from the conference.

You make an interesting distinction between the people who tossed out buzzwords and those who made those qualities come alive by sharing their experiences. I will be curious to hear more about the speakers who used personal stories and left the buzzwords unspoken.

Jo Jordan

Ta da. I recommended you to a German PhD student at Nottingham. He is just starting his 3 yr PhD on how and why professionals use social media. Hoping you will be a guinea pig and connect him up in Germany?

PS I think Nottingham of Robin Hood fame is just north of Market Harborough which you know.

Bret Simmons


I hear what you are saying. Did you learn anything new about leading from those that had accomplished something? Were they doing anything radically different or just getting results with familiar approaches? Also, we know a LOT of experienced leaders that ran organizations and our economy into the ground, so experience is not a guarantee of excellence. Thanks!

Wally Bock

After reading your tweets during the conference, I love this post, especially the part about using the buzzwords du jour. There's one other thing I use in evaluation. I look for whether the actions and the rhetoric, the walk and the talk, match up. I've witnessed a couple of those speakers who share good insights, but don't practice them. And I've seen some up close who are the same in bar or a small room as they are on the stage.

On leadership. I don't think there are new insights. The noble Greeks and Romans pretty much had it covered. What good speakers and writers give us is another view into the cloud of wisdom. The great thing about leadership is not that there's new stuff, but that there's so much stuff and so many connections that there's always more to learn.

Steve Roesler

Hi, Becky,

Good to be back. Thanks for noticing:-)

Steve Roesler


Will look for his request. Could be interesting.

Steve Roesler


No, I can't say that those who were successful did anything radically different--at least the didn't mention it in their talks/interviews. What struck me was that they had a deep interest and love for their business and understood it inside and out. They also talked about how much trial and error is involved in gaining that kind of understanding. Another noticeable characteristic was that they talked about the business, its operations, and the marketplace; not themselves, except when it was a story about "Whoops, I won't try that again."

Indeed, experience is not a guarantee of excellence. As for the "lots" of leaders running things into the ground, I don't have that experience or observation. Of the many people in leadership roles, there are a handful of weasels who have done real harm, been allowed to do harm, and whose exploits are held up in the media as examples of "the evil of business". After 30+ years of managing in a Fortune 50 company and consulting with many others, I have to say that the vast majority of leaders are conscientious, honest, and trying to do the right things day after day. As a result, they don't make for good copy and don't get any attention from business writers or major media.

Steve Roesler


The "cloud of wisdom" phrase is one that will stick with me.

What I find is that I will finally "hear" something accurately for the first time because of the way a speaker presents it or puts it into a context that finally makes sense to me. Perhaps one of the real benefits of connections is that we finally link up with someone who enables us to hear an eternal truth for the first time.

Wally Bock

Congratulations! This post was selected as one of the five best independent business blog posts of the week in my Three Star Leadership Midweek Review of the Business Blogs.


Wally Bock

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