My Top 5 Take Aways from Wisdom 2.0

My Top 5 Take Aways from Wisdom 2.0

Wisdom 2.0 is where the High-Tech world of Silicon Valley meets the Low-Tech world of mindfulness, meditation and self-awareness. For me it is the perfect blend that inspires my coaching; essentially how you survive in the business without losing yourself in it.

I didn’t want to give you a boring travelogue of my conference experience, but I did want to share my top learnings from this inspiring show of wisdom.

1) Make Time For Your Tribe – Whether or not you are a solopreneur, I’m pretty sure you’re pretty immersed in your own business and if you’re like me, often your own laptop. What wisdom 2.0 showed me was that I need to keep making time to brainstorm, share, and laugh in person with people who share my outlook and interests. This is not to say everyone in your “tribe” will always agree with you, but finding people whose personality and perspective you appreciate not only inspires you, it opens you up to breakthroughs in your own life, and, if you’re lucky, available ears to bounce said breakthrough off of. I think I learned just as much in my side conversations as I did from the main stage.

2) Learn From The Path of People You Respect – Wisdom 2.0 speakers included luminaries like Arianna Huffington, Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Bill Ford, etc, etc, etc. (You get the point). What this meant is that even though I might not want their career or trajectories, I gained some valuable advice from hearing how they maneuvered the competing demands they faced in their careers. Whether you are navigating how to be an entrepreneur and a parent, an entrepreneur and an employee, or just simply how to survive without burning -out, I know you often find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m there too! What I realized is that occasionally you need to get out of your box and see what you can learn from others who have traveled before you. Trust me, even if their path looks completely different from yours, you can learn from how they navigated change and growth.

3) Learn With A Beginner’s Mind – It’s so easy to attend a conference or talk and as the person on stage begins, your mind starts this reel. “Oh this is what they’re talking about? I thought it was going to be different and more interesting. I already know all this.” And that’s it for you then – you’re not learning anything more from that point, even if you are listening – trust me! Instead, take a deep breath, and think “What is one thing I can learn from this talk?” With this mindset, you WILL learn – even if it’s “I’ll never make those mistakes on stage!”

4) Innovation Is Often Borrowed From Other Fields – I have found time and time again that often when I am learning about completely different industries, that it is more valuable than I might expect for my own market. Think about articles I have published in my newsletter and on this blog like January’s taking executive leadership and applying it to entrepreneurs. What I have found time and time again is that true wisdom often shows up in many different forms in different fields. At this conference there were lifelong meditation gurus sharing the impact of meditation on their life, then there were scientists talking about the data showing the effect of meditation on health, and there were coaches and social workers talking about how meditation was changing the lives of inner city children. What wisdom is there floating around that you keep hearing and might be able to apply to your business?

5) Compassion Belongs In Every Business – One of the unexpected pleasures of the conference for me was listening to Bill Ford talk about his “family business,” and the challenges and lessons along the way. What impressed me beyond his humility was the depth of his caring and compassion. This is a guy who still believes he owes kindness and a human response to all his workers, whether they are international executives or factory workers. I think when we lose our kindness and generous spirit towards our customers, clients, employees or colleagues – this is a signal that SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG! It might be that the relationships are not working and need to be re-evaluated, it might be that you are sleep-deprived, stressed and have gone into hibernation mode. Whatever the reason, when you’ve lost sight of your compassion, please pay attention and do what you need to remedy this!

Ok, I was only going to write 5 insights, but I need to insert one last one. During the conference I put my foot in my mouth and said something thoughtless to one of my friends there. I felt horrible and struggled to explain what I had really meant. So my bonus tip is – be compassionate with yourself when you screw-up and then dig down and do what you need to do to make it right. Whether it’s a customer, a friend, or a family member, try not to ignore your mistakes, but instead own up and move forward. None of us are perfect, but all of us appreciate gestures of goodwill and awareness.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you’ve learned recently that you are taking back to your business?

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.


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