Live2Lead conference inspires local leaders
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
Scott Walker, the coordinator of the Live2Lead business empowerment conference held last Friday at the Willowdale Chapel, stood in front of a room of successful people and told them, "Strengths do not matter, unless you plan on doing something different with them in the future. If tomorrow comes and we merely want to continue doing what we’re doing today, then there is no reason for us to have this conversation right now."
Walker’s powerful message was just one of many a local audience of more than 200 heard, as part of a national conference intended to engage, equip and encourage leaders to lead by example, finish well and leave a multi-generational impact of good. Introduced by a global simulcast message by internationally-acclaimed motivational speaker John Maxwell of the John Maxwell Company, the conference also featured live video feeds with national speakers, who included personal and executive coach Valorie Burton; author and speaker Pat Lencioni; and Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner.
Following a lunch break, the conference held two afternoon elective sessions, which addressed topics such as identifying, integrating and replicating values; influential business negotiation; discovering your strengths; and maximizing the virtual work environment. Guests were also invited to visit Longwood Gardens following the afternoon sessions.
The Maxwell Foundation’s conference, now in its second year, approached Walker in January, with the idea that they wanted to create a Philadelphia-area presence. Walker, a Newtown Square resident, was chosen for good reason: As founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Walker Services Group, Walker has worked with global giants in business for the past three decades, helping them to create a foundation for leadership through executive coaching and team building. In 2012, Walker founded myLEADERSHIPu: Leadership for Life, whose mission is to encourage leaders to lead by example.
"The two greatest commands of scripture are to love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor, as yourself," Walker said. "My personal mission statement and what extends is through my business is, ‘Scott Walker exists to engage, equip and encourage leaders to lead by example, finish strong and most importantly, leave a multi-generational impact for good.’ You don’t get there if you don’t finish strong, and you don’t finish strong if you don’t lead by example today."
David Oliver of Oliver Heating and Cooling in nearby Delaware County attended the conference for business and personal reasons. His father began the company in 1971, largely on the advice of fellow members of the church he belonged to.
"At Oliver, we live by the golden rule, to treat others as you would want to be treated," Oliver said. "I like the idea of getting outside of yourself and thinking about helping others, about being more than just yourself. It’s choosing every day to make a difference, and think about how you’re going to help other people, and by doing that, you help yourself."
The best example of what clearly defines leadership, Walker said, was demonstrated at the conference during the opening sessions. Several months ago, as he was preparing the activity outline for the conference, Walker invited a local drumline corps to kick off the event. Two weeks ago, he received an e-mail from the leader of the group, telling Walker that the drums the school had originally lent the group, had been reclaimed by the school.
"They came in last night to drop off their equipment, and they had the saddest-looking drums," Walker said. "I told the opening session, if you all kick in about twenty bucks, this group can pay for new drums. We’re now up to about one thousand dollars. That’s the heart of this team. That’s what leaders do. Leaders see potential in others and they make an investment, and when a group makes an effort, things begin to happen."
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.