New: Positive Leaders Series

March 7, 2013

By: Chris White

Originally posted on Lead Positively

My apologies for the blogging hiatus over the last six weeks. It has been an absolute whirlwind! That means there is also lots to share, and I will try to do so in the coming days, weeks, months.

A highlight of this time was the chance to do two pilot sessions of a new speaker series: The Positive Leaders Series. This semester, we hosted Fred Keller (Founder and CEO of Cascade Engineering, the world’s second largest B-Corporation), and Walter Robb (Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market).

Fred and Walter are both inspiring leaders. They share a special blend of assertiveness and humility, are both visionary and yet can relate to normal people at the same time. And both listen incredibly well. Spending time with each behind the scenes was an honor, and I have taken many small things from it as I continually try to evolve and improve my own leadership skills.

The idea for the Positive Leaders Series is to create an “Inside the Actors Studio” style conversation (we are calling them “Keynote Conversations”) with leaders whom we admire for the positive outcomes their leadership inspires for all stakeholders.  Audience members – of which there were 430 at the session with Walter Robb – were encouraged to email and tweet their questions to two excellent students sharing the stage with us. It seemed to work nicely, allowing a fast moving conversation, with topics and questions that built on each other.

We are now pulling together some criteria for selecting the next round of Positive Leaders to invite to Ann Arbor. Any input you have is welcome!

For a write up on the session with Walter Robb, go here. If you would like to watch the Keynote Conversation with Walter, you can find it here.