National Speaker Addresses Leadership and Working Smart in a Distracted World

National Speaker Addresses Leadership and Working Smart in a Distracted World

Courtney LynchOn January 31, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce held its Professional Women’s Leadership Luncheon at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel and Conference Center.  The speaker was Courtney Lynch, Founder of Lead Star and the co-author of Leading from the Front, a best-selling leadership book, which is based on her experiences as a Marine and as a private sector professional.

More than 300 business and community leaders were in attendance to hear Lynch speak about leadership and leveraging human contact in a distracted world.  Lynch said, “There is a lot of distraction present in our everyday lives.  How do we overcome this?  It’s clear, it’s present and it’s there.”

Lynch explained, “When we are distracted, we actually surrender our ‘executive functions,’ the majority of which make us successful to whatever bright and shiny object happens to be front and center…the text message, email, ringing phone.”

She told the audience, “One of the most effective things to understanding leadership is to help people get to a point where they’re not just ‘doing to do,’ they are thinking and then doing.  And that’s the key to executive function.” 

Cognitive flexibility is your ability to devise lots of different alternate paths to overcoming challenges.  She explained that cognitive self control is to inhibit your instincts, like answering an email as soon as it pops up.

Lynch explained that, “You manage things and lead people.”  She said, “A leader is someone who does two things extremely well.  Influencing outcomes and inspiring others are the essence of leadership.”  She asked the group, “How do you do this?”  Lynch went on to speak about three practices: credible performance, how you react to a problem, and heart.

Lynch concluded her presentation by saying, “Human beings have two very strong fundamental needs.  We want to be liked and we want to be respected.”  She went on to explain that challenge comes when you go about having these two strong needs met in this order.  “It will be hard to influence outcomes and inspire others because distractions will captivate you and take you away.  She recommends to reverse the order, strive to be respected and being “liked” will fall into place.

(from left) Karen Price-Ward of Southwest Airlines; Deborah Stearns, Chair of the Chamber; Courtney Lynch; and Jack Hornbeck, President & CEO of the ChamberOne lucky attendee won two roundtrip airfare tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

Thank you to sponsors: Hampton University Proton Center, MANCON, Tidewater Community College, TowneBank and WTKR NewsChannel 3.

The next luncheon in the series will be held April 11 featuring Kate White, veteran editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and New York Times best-selling author.

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