Power Within

On September 13, I had the opportunity to attend a Power Within speaking engagement being held in Toronto. The event looked very promising with speakers such as Micheal Eisner, Sir Richard Branson and Tim Sanders taking part. You can see the full details about the session here.

Micheal Eisner's speech on management was very interesting. He spoke about how Disney used inside-the-box thinking to spur creativity and innovation for their entertainment initiatives. This may sound contrary to the outside-the-box paradigm that is prevalent now, but what Mr. Eisner meant was that for a given project you must understand the size of the box (e.g., amount of resources and money you will devote to it) and innovate, manage and be creative within those confines. He used clips from movies such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Lion King, Outrageous Fortune and Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest to illustrate his points. The complexity concerning things one would not give much thought to was astounding. The example shown was the shading on Roger Rabbit's character while a overhead light swung back and forth (the picture is courtesy of Disney via Google.) This was something that was extremely challenging to perform at that time.
Tim Sanders was a former motivational coach at Yahoo! Mr. Sanders was an engaging speaker and talked about what he termed the, "likability factor." The basic premise is that people who are more likable are more prone to succeed versus an equally competent but less likable individual. He reasoning (backed up by lots of research) was as follows:

  • People want to work with individuals they like.
  • People will be more willing to assist someone they like. Such as give them information that will provide an advantage in a negotiation or a business deal.
  • When choosing between two identical proposals, the one from the individual you like more will generally win.
Mr. Sanders pyramid of likability was as follows (I've stated it upside down):
  1. Friendliness - Make people feel welcome and comfortable.
  2. Relevance - Validate commonalities between yourself and others.
  3. Empathy - Understand feelings are facts. Be a good listener. Don't judge or try to fix the problems.
  4. Realness - (At the top of the pyramid) be genuine. When someone is talking to you, give them your complete attention.
The keynote of the event was Sir Richard Branson. I must admit that this part of the event was a little of a letdown. It was run as an interview session with questions from the audience. Mr. Branson has significant charisma, however I did feel he rambled and didn't necessarily answer questions the audience's questions.

The event itself was good on a whole. If you can find a session keynoted by someone like Bill Clinton, I'd definitely say to check it out!

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