More than 120 people, representing about 20 area businesses, attended a Live2Lead conference Wednesday, hosted by the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce and the John Maxwell Company.
The Bell County representative, executive director and certified coach for the John Maxwell Team is Jim Crothers of Temple — one of 16,000 coaches in the John Maxwell organization.
Crothers told the Herald, “The mission of the John Maxwell Team is to train leaders how to assure their employees that they feel cared for and appreciated. No matter who they are or what their title is, we want them to feel valued.”
The local crowd gathered in the Activities Center at the Stewart C. Meyer Public Library to view the satellite broadcast of the Live2Lead conference being held at the John C. Maxwell Leadership Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Harker Heights was one of 700 host sites worldwide bringing the total number of viewers to 350,000.
Featured speakers John C. Maxwell, shared practical ways to increase leadership potential.
Dave Ramsey, personal money-management expert and best-selling author, defined some of the key principles of Entrepreneur Leadership.
Cheryl Bachelder, former CEO of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. and voted the Top CEO in the world for Servant Leadership by Inc. Magazine, shared her success in turning around a company using the idea of “servant leadership.”
Maxwell and American Sports journalist and author Don Yaeger interviewed Warwick Dunn, a former NFL running back, about his personal story and leadership in his community. Dunn is now the first African-American part owner of the Atlanta Falcons football team and operates a charity that builds homes for single moms.
All of the featured speakers concentrated on values-based leadership. Maxwell said, “There is one common denominator of leaders and that is they see more than others see and they see before others see. They see the bigger picture and see it quicker than anyone else. “
He added that leaders are creative and believe there is always an answer. They are also flexible and understand that there is more than one answer.”
According to Ramsey, “Bosses push and leaders pull. Managers count stuff. Leaders are entrepreneurs and you want them on your team because they are truth tellers and they bring creativity and energy.
“Measured wise risks should be taken and you combine them with diplomacy, integrity and caring. You put those things together and real magic happens.”
Bachelder said, “All leadership is influence. Ever been influenced by a terrible self-absorbed leader? The case study I brought with me today is about my time as CEO of Popeye’s. At its lowest point, the general attitude of the once-popular restaurants was mad, sad and numb.
“In response, as leaders we chose the daring steps to serve our people, love the franchise owners, and deliver great results. All were highly successful! We thanked our workers publicly for their work.
“At least 70 percent of Americans won’t be told “thank you” at their jobs during this week,” Bachelder said. “Will you dare to serve? There are people out there counting on you!”
Participant Monica Tuitafi said, “As leaders, we have to learn that a problem is probably caused by something different than education or our abilities and that is hindering the progress of our business.”
Yaeger, introduced Dunn, a former NFL player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Dunn was the oldest of six children. His mother was a police officer in Louisiana.
While Dunn played football at Florida State University, his mother was shot and killed in the line of duty during a robbery.
“The leadership I received from my mom was responsibility,” he said.
Concerning adversity, Dunn said, “We’re all gonna have difficult times in our lives and it brings out the true character of individuals. My mom prepared me for tough times. Adversity is hard, but it gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself as a person.
“You can change the outcome of situations and look at how you’ll grow from what’s come your way.”
Dunn has built 150 houses through his program to assist single moms.
During a meeting of leaders of the John Maxwell Company the evening before the broadcast, $90,000 was collected and presented to Dunn during the conference.
Scott Presuhn of H-E-B told the Herald, “This was an outstanding event and I would recommend it to any potential leader.”
At the conclusion of the conference, Heather Moysa, former gold medal winner Olympic bobsledder, made an appearance.
She now spends her time speaking all over the world and spreading the message of servant leadership.
Kristl Evans, owner of Precision Tune Auto Care in Killeen, said, “I’ve been in business for 30 years and from these speakers, I learned that it’s easy to forget that I need to serve the people that serve me.”
Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Business Development Mary Shabunia reported that the response to the event was heartwarming.
“We will hopefully sponsor another one of these conferences in the future,” she said.