Whether you’re an aspiring leader or really have no interest in leading, the five lessons I learned from the S4S National Leadership Conference will teach you something new. Held last weekend the annual leadership conference fostered collaborative environments and addressed the key issues that young leaders face.
The two day conference featured amazing speakers such as Ben Pettingill. Ben lost 98% of his vision yet found the courage to complete a Spartan obstacle course – the first visually impaired person in the world to do so. Stories like Ben’s taught me (and the other conference attendees) some fantastic lessons on leadership.
1. Be yourself
Ben Pettingill explained “a good leader shouldn’t be labelled”. We all have the capacity to be a leader, and we shouldn’t have to create a whole new person to fit a specific role. General manager of Project Everest, Wade Tink emphasised this point.
“It’s so important that you don’t need to change who you are to become a leader, you already are one,” Wade Tink, Project Everest’s general manager.
Ben and Wade are both so damn right because everyone is unique.
2. Have limitless vision
Limitless vision is an important concept that Ben lives by.
“It’s all about having that vision, that goal, that dream that seems impossible, that seems like it’s out of reach,” Ben said.
If you follow the right steps however, Ben believes any goal can be achieved. His steps to limitless vision are the following:
- Having that dream
- Having a purpose
- Ensuring that you have the right people around you – people who are going to believe in you and push you towards that dream
- Starting the chase – getting through all the challenges to transform that dream in to a reality
3. Push your boundaries
Ben was the first visually impaired person in the world to complete a Spartan obstacle course, and he achieved this through pushing his boundaries. Project Everest operations coordinator, Amber Johnston, adamantly believes we are all “capable of achieving so much”. Ben lives by this mantra continuing to push his boundaries. Soon he will be competing in the Southern 80 water skiing race, as well as venturing onto the Kokoda Track. Pretty boundary pushing stuff.
4. Have confidence in yourself
Also among the guest speakers were incredible social entrepreneurs such as Ken Kencevski. Ken is the founder Devika (a company offering tech-based business solutions, tech education, and media production) and believes that “life begins at the limit of our comfort zone”.
At the S4S conference each speaker presented with confidence, both in themselves and in their work. Without their confidence they undoubtedly would not be where they are today. Ken presented his speech literally hours after returning from the YEA G20 Summit in Japan. If that’s not confidence I don’t know what is.
5. Anyone can be an entrepreneur
With the right amount of passion I now believe anyone can be an entrepreneur. It was clear that each speaker had a passion for what they do and what they believe in. As Wade Tink explained,
“The timing is right for Uni students these days to get out and make change, because the bottom of the pyramid is there and it needs help… you guys are in prime position to achieve that.”
Both Project Everest and social entrepreneur Ken Kencevski are fantastic examples of passion leading to action. Anyone can be a leader and an entrepreneur – you’ve just got to get out there and go for it.