Be Inspired by People-Centric Approaches to Business

Dear Diary,
Today was a good day. I feel like I’m floating. He just gets me. It was like he was talking directly to me. Never mind that packed auditorium, I swear a connection happened. It was real. I felt it.

We all felt it. BW Institute, you spoke to us.

On Monday 9/11/17, I had the pleasure of attending the People Centric Project Preview at Washington University. Impeccably groomed fields were surrounded by buildings that looked like a façade from the backlot of a film set. Am I supposed to walk across this gorgeous greenery? For time’s sake I did. Then I saw the other kids doing it so felt assured it was okay. I was also secretly hoping I would get mistaken as a college student…

With a promotional postcard like this, I was immediately into it. Isn’t this a dreamy to-do list?

BW Institute is nailing it in leadership.

This empowering event attracted some of the city’s most inspiring leaders to share stories. Not to lecture you with the guidance of an all-too-text-heavy-it’s-way-too-early-for-anything-without-pictures-presentation, but rather an interactive day featuring storytelling. Here are a few highlights of this half day event.

The first session speaker was legendary Teri Griege. I’ve heard about Teri but to hear her speak in real time and share her honest, truthful, story that should be made into a movie was quite the way to kick off the morning. This woman is fearless, an Iron(wo)man and genuine beyond belief. To say that she’s active is an understatement. After a devastating cancer diagnosis, Teri channeled her inner badass and continued training for her next Ironman adventure, while undergoing chemotherapy. This woman is unstoppable. Here’s a tidbit from her talk, “You’re never too old or young to accomplish your dreams. You’re never alone. Never ever give up.” I’ve thought about her on multiple occasions when I need to check myself, with personal reminders like: 1) This thing is not as bad as I think it is, or 2) I am in control. I got this.

The next feature was a dynamic panel of powerhouses talking all things leadership. Lisa Nichols (Technology Partners), Stan Pauls (Décor Cabinets), Kurt Dirks (Washington University Professor), and Matt Whiat (of BW Leadership Institute) consumed the hot seats. Here are some quotable takeaways:

Kurt Dirks on Shaping Future Leaders:

“Build confidence and character build sustainable heathy organization. Think about values. Sometimes it takes adversity to find values.”

Lisa Nichols on Building Culture:

“Put people first. That’s the only way to lead, even before processes and profits. If you don’t focus on culture, you’ll have a hard time retaining talent. Listen to your team. They are the ones on the frontline.”

Matt Whiat on Inclusion and Purpose:

“If you make one group more important, where does your team sit? We are very focused and deliberate. Articulate the purpose deeper. Find your spot in the world and find what biologically inspires us.”

Stan Pauls on Walking the Walk:

“I don’t want to coast. I don’t want our people to coast. We live our mission statement.”

Last but not least (and worth repeating the keynote speaker…)

Teri Griege on the Hope Foundation Mission:

“We help ordinary people endure.”

Dear Diary,

Me again. WOW, what a day! I felt so alive and inspired and all things empowering that I seriously felt like I could have danced across that dreamy green field towards my car. Instead, my ego was slightly crushed as a too-cool-for-school student that looked like she walked off the cover of Vogue, stops, looks down at me, and asks me if I was lost. Her tone wasn’t even genuine, but rather annoyed and inferior. Ummm, no, I was stopping to take some photos for Instagram. Isn’t that what the kids do? I did get my photos, and learned a heck of a lot that day.