Intrepid’s Chairman Jim Freedman and I recently participated in the CEO Coaching International Make BIG Happen Summit in Miami. It was an exhilarating opportunity to connect with dynamic business leaders from across the globe. The Summit provided an opportunity to exchange best practices, be inspired by world-renowned speakers and renew focus on how to optimize performance – both on the “field” (i.e., financial performance) and off (i.e., the human element). I had a particularly cool experience showcasing the art of the elevator pitch to a crowd of 600 people who showed great enthusiasm and energy despite it being the last day of the event.
Here are five things I took away from the Summit:
- I resolve to put my SOUL into whatever I do
- The path to success is not “one size fits all” – there are many ways to get to the top
- It is great to get back out there in person – there are still no water coolers on Zoom
- There are amazing leaders and human beings all around us – from the rank and file all the way to the C-Suite – each with their own story to tell
- Miami is HOT right now (not a weather reference, a talent one)
Elaborating on the above…
- Jesse Itzler is one of the most captivating speakers you will ever see. If you want to get your team fired up at your next company retreat, you should book him. His talk on how to be a “spiritual billionaire” served as a reminder that you could have all the money in the world but without a soul, you are effectively bankrupt. Sure, it’s easy for him to say given he is married to billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely, but before he met her, he was a self-made – with many ups and downs – hit-making musician (rapper, to be exact) and serial entrepreneur (co-founded Zico Coconut Water and Marquis Jet). He inspired the whole room to put our soul into everything we do – that is the path to being a spiritual billionaire.
- At the Summit, we heard from inspiring CEOs and founders whose paths to the mountaintop were as diverse as the businesses they built, including:
- Kerry Siggins, an operations coordinator who quickly rose to CEO of an industrial manufacturing company after overcoming life-threatening substance abuse
- Rich Balot, who opened a single mobile phone store while a freshman in college, only to grow a business with 1,500 stores across 49 states with a multibillion-dollar valuation
- Ron Carson, who built a $20 billion asset management firm that was hatched in his college dorm
- This was the first conference of this magnitude I attended since the dawn of the pandemic. I had forgotten about the magic that happens at these events, like the random breakfast table conversation that turns into a business opportunity or the chance meeting with someone you would never seek out in your daily life who ends up putting an inspiring idea into your head. The idea of staying in one’s comfort zone has taken on new meaning over the past 2.5 years, and I would argue that the need to escape it occasionally is greater than ever as a result.
- Mark Moses and his team at CEO Coaching International truly put on a world-class event featuring a diverse and talented audience of business leaders and executive coaches. As amazing as these leaders are, behind every one of them is a team – both at the office and at home – who share responsibility for their success. It was amazing to peel back the layers and get a complete sense of these amazing individuals.
- I have been visiting Miami all my life but had not been down there since before the pandemic so I could have been excused for not believing all the hype in the press over the past two years. Seeing it firsthand, though, I will say that it’s all true – the city has become a beacon for talent, creativity, youth and everything else that makes for a great business center. FT’s article, “How Miami became the most important city in America”, is a fun read on all this and more.
Jim and I were honored to represent Intrepid among the hundreds of incredible people at the Summit and look forward to the next one!