Here are my top takeaways from a lineup of prestigious politicians, industry insiders and business experts who took to the stage for Connect Day 2.
Mark Schulman – Hacking the Rockstar Attitude
Fresh from performing with Pink the previous night, drummer Mark Schulman set the tone for an energetic Day 2 at Connect 2018, telling conference attendees:
“Every word you speak is a performance. Every document, every phone call every is a performance. For rock star performers there are no small performances.
“Performances are not just what we do, but a reflection of who we are. And it’s not just about the performance; it’s about having the best time with the performance. Studies show the better time you have the more your performance improves.”
Recounting Pink’s aerial stunt accident a few years ago, Schulman also noted the rock star attitude was all about the grace with which we recover from adversity, and an unyielding desire to provide rock star service regardless.
“We know we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude about what happens to us. Your attitude is your viewpoint; it’s where you are looking from and it’s what you then get to see.
“Life is a series of nows. How you choose your attitude right now is how you are driving your behaviour and the consequences of your life.”
Holly Ransom – Change is inevitable but growth intentional
As the CEO of intergenerational workforce Emergent, Holly Ransom inspired with her insight into handling change.
Ms Ransom noted change was inevitable and becoming faster.
While the telephone took 75 years to reach 50 million people and television 13 years, Facebook took only 18 months and Pokemon eight days, she reflected.
“This is the environment within which we are operating. You can’t keep doing what you’ve always done.”
Ms Ransom went on to say that embracing change comes down to understanding what motivates people to embrace new thinking.
“The why drives motivation. We need to make sure that they can touch, feel and see the why.”
She also noted it was important to identify objection to change early; leaders should make it their mission to overcome them, asking the dissenters: “If I were to turn your no into a yes, what would I have to do?
“Who will be your allies and how do you empower them to advocate for you? Change isn’t a solo journey.
“Resistance is the single greatest barrier to change, and it surrounds us every single day. Notice when resistance shows up and how it shows up. The single biggest habit we can embrace for growth is to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Sharb Farjami – Storyful: Social Intelligence and Insight
As CEO of News Corp’s social media and insight company Storyful, Sharb Farjami offered a fascinating session on the power of social media, the rise of fake news and how business reputation could be impacted as a result.
“Social media is a fantastic force for good, but to a large extent is being weaponised.
“At the moment we are in a flux point. Businesses need to understand the flow of information around them and what is being said about them to tap into the positive conversations while also being aware where malice might lie.”
Anna Meares – The Fighting Spirit of a Champion
Eleven-times world cycling champion and Olympic Gold medallist Anna Meares offered an inspirational perspective on the mindset and physical stamina required of champions.
She noted that, in a career defined by overcoming adversity as it much as it was by success, she had learned:
- To focus on the ‘what is’, not the ‘what ifs’.
- Goals constantly have to be reassessed and analysed to accommodate the volatility of life.
- We all spend more time, more money and more energy on things where we cannot control the outcome.
- It is important to choose the people you surround yourself with, both personally and professionally
- Now is critical; look to today. We spend a lot of time looking to our past to learn from it and our future to plan for it, but often we can overlook the little things that matter right now.
- It will not be something big that brings you undone; it will be the small things that accumulate that get you in the end.
Dr Jordan Nguyen – Beyond Superhuman, Technology for Humanity
Documentary maker, biomedical engineer and inventor, Dr Jordan Nguyen has a mission to improve the lives of as many people as possible through technology. He shared his thoughts on how technology will assist in the years to come.
- We are currently living at the fastest rate of technological change. We are also living at the slowest rate we will see in the years to come. We have to be able to adapt to that change.
- It’s how we use technology. Technology is a tool. It’s an enabler, so don’t be afraid of it.
- It comes down to imagination: how we think about these technologies and how we harness these tools. Think big, because we are only limited by our imagination.
Platon – Powerful Portraits
From Barack Obama to Putin and the homeless on the streets of Moscow, photographer Platon has taken portraits of some of the world’s most powerful people for some of the most esteemed publications around the globe.
- Sometimes the mask tells us more about the truth than the truth does.
- The line between right and wrong is never bright, and all of us at some point cross onto the wrong side. But what makes an honourable person is when you do everything in your power to bring yourself back.
- “I’ve seen power, authority, intimidation and seduction, but the secret to great leadership is service.”