Top Quotes from the Art of Management 2010

In case you missed it, or wondered why #taom was a top tag on Twitter on Monday, The Art of Management packed thousands into the Toronto Convention Centre to get inspired.  Headlined by Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers, Tipping Point) and joined by Simon Sinek (Start with Why?) – who stole the show, Mitch Joel (Six Pixels of Separation), Nilofer Merchant (Rubicon Consulting),  and Michael Eisner (former CEO of Disney), the day showcased some amazing ideas, great presenters and inspiration to spare.  For those who found themselves stuck at their desks or want to relive the moment, here’s some of the quotes that were “Tweet-worthy”.

Simon Sinek @simonsinek / Author and consultant on inspiring leadership / In a nutshell: Know WHY  you’re doing what you’re doing

  • “Share one’s passion and purpose as you inspire others”
  • “Hire people who believe what you believe – and they will work for that belief.  Others will just work for your money.”
  • “People don’t buy what you do… they buy why you do it.”
  • “Martin Luther King didn’t give “I have a plan” speech, but “I have a dream”.
  • “If we need an offsite every year to discuss vision then something isn’t very clear.”
  • “Being a leader does not mean you can lead.”
  • “There are 2 ways to get people to follow you…manipulation or inspiration. Which do you use?”

Malcolm Gladwell @MalcGladwell/Author and thinker/ In a nutshell: It’s time for leaders to get humble!

  • “What we want from our leaders in times of catastrophe is not confidence but humility.”
  • “Being humble should be a qualification not a disqualification for picking a leader.”
  • “Leaders with too much information can lead to overconfidence, which can lead to disaster – mitigate risk with humility”
  • “Beware of confidence creep.”
  • “Incompetence = disease of idiots; Overconfidence = disease of experts”
  • “Incompetence irritates me, over-confidence terrifies me.”
  • “More information doesn’t increase your ability, it increases the confidence in your ability.”
  • “Screw ups recalibrate confidence creep.”

Michael Eisner / Business titan and author / In a nutshell: A great partnership can make you happier.

  • “To punish failure is to encourage mediocrity.”
  • “The more mature you get, the better you get at managing ego.”
  • “In a partnership, leave your ego and envy at the door. You are in all of it together.”
  • “The key to happiness is building lasting relationships.”
  • “Creativity can flourish within sensible financial limitations.”
  • “Management is not a science, it is an art.”

Nilofer Merchant @Nilofer / Consultant and champion of collaboration / In a nutshell: Leaders need to involve their people.

  • “Collaboration does not = consensus.”
  • “The future is not created, it is co-created.”
  • “We are great at creating ideas and suck at deciding which one to activate.”
  • “Knowing the way is crucial. Go from whiteboarding to murderboarding. (know which ideas you’re going to kill.”
  • “As a leader, when you feel like you need to have all the answers, you create a tribe of people who do things vs a tribe who co-own things.”
  • “Strategy is not a powerpoint. It’s the thing that happens to get the product to market”

Mitch Joel @mitchjoel / Author and marketing guru / In a nutshell: It’s time for Leadership 3.0… this ain’t your granddaddy’s workplace.

  • “Your employees may be becoming highly unemployable. Entrepreneurialsm is everywhere.”
  • “Before building community you need to build engagement.”
  • “If your product or service sucks; social media, marketing or management won’t save you.”
  • “Your team is being untethered!! Challenge will be to manage them!”
  • “When technology, access, information and how consumers buy changes, so must management.”
  • “Ctrl.Alt.Del. Time for a re-boot on how we manage and think about business.”

There was so much more.  Check out the conversations at #taom on Twitter. Special shout-outs to @knealemann, @kendrareddy, @chieflemondhead, @samtitle, @Janeeniebean and all the other thumb tapping Tweeps who tweeted out so many of these great one liners.

From my perspective, it was great to see and hear so many GenX speakers on the stage voicing a new view for work and leadership.  A stark comparison to Michael Eisner who praised micro management and working inside boxes which left me a little cold.  Overall though, this event was a vast improvement over the recycled ideas of Covey, Blanchard, Peters et al.  Nothing wrong with management classics, but what worked in 1970 just isn’t working today.

Kudo’s to the team at @TheArtofEvents.  See you all again next year!

Happy leading!

2 responses to “Top Quotes from the Art of Management 2010

  1. Once you spend a significant amount of time in business, you attend various workshops and presentations, conferences and networking events and can often grow weary on their effectiveness.

    The Art of Management was a day packed with usable information from five thought leaders in their perspective fields. The wow moments for me included Mitch reminding us that we are the media, Michael outlining the importance of partnerships, Milofer discussing the importance of building connective tissue withing your organization and Simon reminding us that strategy and tactics are essential but before all that is the need to know why we’re doing what we do and what we believe in.

    Great event, looking forward to next year!

  2. Hi Kneale… great highlights from you. And I agree… you can get a bit “been there, done that” when you’ve attend lots of these sessions over the years. I did love the new voice though on how work is changing. Great to have some fresh perspectives and not the usual management retreads. See you there next year. :)

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