By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – “Choices” was the theme of the 2012 Chick-fil-A Leadercast, originating Friday in Atlanta and shared by more than 125,000 people at sites worldwide, including more than 100 at the University of Mississippi’s South End Zone Club.
Pastor and author Andy Stanley said every act becomes part of one’s story.
“Don’t ever make a choice that will make you a liar for life,” he said.
Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow said everyone is a leader to someone. He chided celebrities who excuse their misbehavior by claiming not to be role models.
“Yes, you are,” he said. “You’re just not a very good one.”
Leadership master John Maxwell urged living intentionally by emphasizing one’s own “3 Rs” – doing what is required, what gives the greatest return and what they find rewarding.
“You always want to be out of your comfort zone, but you never want to be out of your gift zone,” he said.
CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien said Martin Luther King Jr. set aside his prepared remarks and spoke from the heart when he delivered his “I have a dream” soliloquy.
“True leadership is about departing from the script as you know it,” she said.
Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts said the 150-year-old company emphasizes both heritage and innovation in a culture of trust.
“Our values are to protect, explore and inspire,” she said.
Harvard economist Roland Fryer asserted that part of leadership is defying defeatism – noting that even disadvantaged students can prosper through high standards and hard work.
“Show them what’s possible,” he said. “Kids will rise to our expectations.”
Best-selling author Pat Lencioni said “over-communicating” an organization’s goals and values is crucial.
“If your people can’t do an impression of you when you’re not around, you’re not communicating enough,” he said.
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss’ new head football coach, spoke live to the Oxford group. To be successful, “You have to know what your ‘it’ is,” he said, adding that ‘it’ requires a game plan and endurance.
Friday’s audience in Oxford represented Ole Miss, Baptist Memorial Hospital, The Orchard and several other Northeast Mississippi organizations.
“I’m looking for ways to improve morale and to improve as leaders ourselves,” said Renea Bowles, a Social Security hearing office director in Tupelo. “One thing I’ve learned is to focus on my strengths and on the core of our responsibilities.”
“It turned out to be really practical and useful,” said Oxford High School student Eloise Tyner. “It’s inspired me to live more intentionally.”