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Jan Smith, national vocal coach, producer and artist, is well-known for the values of Leaders Worth Following, starting with authenticity. This weekend, Atlanta celebrated a music industry icon – Jan Smith (known to thousands of vocal artists simply as, “Mama Jan”). Mama Jan is the woman behind Jan Smith Studios, and she has coached, developed and/or produced more chart-topping artists than any other vocal producer or vocal coach in the business. Names like Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20); Usher; Justin Bieber; Shania Twain; The Band Perry; Drake; Terrance Howard; Collective Soul – the list goes on and on. Yet, Jan is equally passionate about leading and developing new artists – as well as people who just love to sing.
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According to the American Society of Training and Development, U.S. businesses spend more than $170 billion dollars on leadership-based curriculum, with the majority of those dollars being spent on “Leadership Training.” Here’s the thing – you don’t train leaders, you develop them – a subtle yet important distinction lost on many. This may be heresy to some – but training is indeed the #1 reason leadership development fails. While training is often accepted as productive, it rarely is. The terms “training” and “development” have somehow become synonymous when they clearly are not.
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Have you been glued to your screen, watching the athletes of the Olympic Games? I have been, along with 30 million other viewers from around the world. One of my favorite parts of the Games is hearing about the stories of the Olympians themselves – it seems as if each of them have struggled, sacrificed and faced failure along the way to Rio. What strikes me when I hear the interviews of gymnasts, rowers, swimmers, cyclists and more, is that each one sees themselves as part of a team – the individual goals taking a back seat to the team goals. Sounds a lot like values-based Team Building and “Beyond You” leadership – behaviors and core values of Leaders Worth Following. (You can find dozens of amazing speakers sharing their insights on “beyond you leadership” and building true team collaboration.)
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Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent; no matter which candidate with whom you resonate most; regardless of whether you are male or female – it is hard to ignore the fact that for the first time in history, a woman leads the ticket of a major American political party as their nominee for President of the United States.
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At Leadercast, you will often hear us talking about the individual aspect of leadership. Our company is founded on the concept that leadership is not about a title – it is about a set of values and behaviors that inspire others; that put others first; that define “Beyond You” leadership. And it all starts with self-leadership. How can we possibly lead others if we are not continually developing our ability to lead ourselves? Self-leadership is where my thoughts have landed in response to the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Dallas law enforcement officials, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa. The world is heartbroken. And the healing must start within each of us, as individuals. While many people are taking sides or pointing fingers, others who are addressing the fear and pain within individuals – and within is the only place that self-leadership can start.
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At our leadership team meeting yesterday at Leadercast, our CEO Keith Wilmot asked us to spend some time talking about what the 4th of July means to each of us. After we all shared some different memories of family and recreation, our Chief of Staff, who is a native South African, shared how special the 4th of July is to her, reciting a story of her first 4th of July as a U.S. citizen. I teared up hearing her talk about proudly saying the pledge of allegiance with her new American friends. Her appreciation for what our country represents inspired us all. Our conversation then shifted to the leadership lessons we can learn from our nation’s independence. That's a conversation that is right up my alley. I love history and politics. I recently re-watched the John Adams mini-series on HBO, and I'm in the middle of reading Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis. I love studying the Revolutionary generation because I sincerely believe our nation was founded by some of the best leaders the world has ever seen. My spiritual friends might question my theology, but I believe the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were divinely inspired...
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We hear from people in the Leadercast community every day about the overwhelming demands placed on their time. And while intentional leadership is more important than ever when you’ve got more on your plate, many organizations are finding it difficult to fit in traditional training to help their people get there. That’s one reason why Leadercast Now was created – to help time-starved leaders get real leadership insights with key action steps, all in five minutes or less. I’m sure you’ve heard yourself saying time and time again, “I am too busy to [fill in the blank with the activity you keep putting off]. Read on to hear from our Leadercast speakers about "the lie behind not having enough time" and how taming your day can help you build your intentional leadership style.
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How many of you were unable to attend Leadercast Live 2016 in Atlanta or one of the hundreds of host sites worldwide? We know that each year, there are thousands – hundreds of thousands – who would have loved to attend the largest one-day leadership event in the world, but just couldn’t make it. As a Leadercast Now Gold subscriber, you can have access to the individual speaker sessions and exclusive backstage content. Don Yaeger, author, speaker and a Leadercast Now contributor, shares highlights from watching Kat Cole’s Leadercast Live session:
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Can you put your leadership message into three simple words?

The best can.

That impressed me recently at 2016 Leadercast, the largest one-day leadership event in the world. Well-known leaders summed up their best ideas for raising the standard of leadership across our businesses, communities, and homes. You don’t have to have a ‘C’ in your title to benefit from their wisdom.

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From Kat Cole’s hotshot rule to Andy Stanley’s clarity to Nick Saban’s thoughts on mediocre people, there was a lot of great advice dispersed at Leadercast 2016. The one-day event inside Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia, was attended live by 5,000 people and broadcast to 100,000 people at 800 host sites in 20 countries! Here are my picks for the five best leadership insights from the day.
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