As I touched down in sunny Athens
for this year’s International Leadership Conference, what would normally be
excitement was replaced with nerves. Having been inspired by the speakers at
past events, this year it was my turn in the spotlight as I was invited to
present on something I am very passionate about – our people.
Held every two years, these conferences are not only an opportunity for myself and 130 or so of my peers to talk about our vision and strategy, but also an opportunity for us to network and consider the role we as leaders can play in this future. This year’s theme was ‘Dare To Be Different’ and I was determined to make my presentation stand out.
As I approached the stage the adrenaline kicked in and the butterflies in my stomach melted away as I made eye contact with some of my colleagues from around the world. We were asked to shun the usual ‘death by PowerPoint’ and instead adopt a storytelling approach, and as I shared some of my own stories about the people I have worked with, over my 20+ years at CDK Global, I was delighted to see them resonate with an audience of faces both old and new.
So what were my takeaways from this year’s event?
- Despite culture, ethnicity, and years of experience, I came away confident that one of our CDK Global differentiators is our culture. We all believe in the values of honesty, accountability and a willingness to learn and teach, and feel at home here.
- It is an incredibly exciting time for our business as our industry is being disrupted. It means we face great challenges ahead to remain current in our market, but there are also enormous opportunities ahead.
- To take advantage of these opportunities, we need to be different. We need to be open to new ways of working, think differently about our products and services, and partner with other businesses to achieve our dreams.
My presentation started with a
phrase ‘CDK is beautiful’, and I came away with an overwhelming sense that this
statement is truer than ever.
Check out the video below for highlights of our most recent event, Dare To Be Different.