To become the sort of person you’d want to follow, you need to listen to others who’ve already made it there.
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As 2020 nears, so do new opportunities to become a better entrepreneur. Although sales, marketing and HR are important, there’s one domain that unites the rest: leadership. Leadership is one of those things that can’t be learned in a book. To become the sort of person you’d want to follow, you need to listen to other leaders. Reflecting on their lessons and implementing those ideas in your own operations increases the chances of success — for both you and your teammates.
The question: Where can you look to find leaders who inspire you?
Leadership Conferences to Check Out
While talented entrepreneurs can be found everywhere, leadership conferences let you gather ideas from dozens of them at once. From business-strategy sessions to networking opportunities to themed events, these conferences will help you set your team up for a successful 2020:
1. Talent Development Think Tank
Santa Rosa, California | January 22-23, 2020 | $1,697
Talent development might be a leader’s most important role. No entrepreneur can do it all, which is why it’s key to hire and train the right people to tackle all of the other tasks that must be done for the company to thrive. Following the success of their Talent Development Hot Seat podcast, leadership experts Andy Storch and Bennett Phillips are bringing talent development pros together for Talent Development Think Tank. After rescheduling due to the California wildfires earlier this year, the conference is set for January 2020. Focused on problem-solving, skills- and talent-development and analyzing trends in the professional training world, Talent Development Think Tank is a great way to kick off your year.
2. Business Agility Conference
New York City, New York | March 11-12, 2020 | $1,200
Agile enables companies and their people to work, communicate and innovate faster and more effectively. But misunderstandings around agile’s tenets lead many entrepreneurs to practice it incorrectly or dismiss it altogether. Whether you’re new to agile business or a seasoned veteran, the Business Agility Conference hosted by the Business Agility Institute is a must for those interested in agile methodology. A mix of brief “lightning” talks from agile thought leaders and facilitated deep-dive discussions with other attendees sets the stage for a conference that celebrates innovation, sustainability and adaptation in an ever-changing world.
3. EntreLeadership Summit 2020
Orlando, Florida | May 17-20, 2020 | Cost TBD
“Trailblazers and rule breakers” are the target audience of this conference, which brings together more than 4,000 American entrepreneurs and executives. Featuring speakers like Dave Ramsey and Mike Rowe, EntreLeadership Summit is all about challenging the status quo. To fill a niche, develop a product and differentiate your company from its competitors, you need to go off the beaten path. There’s no one way to do that, of course, but this four-day conference will give you the confidence you need to embrace what makes your company unique.
4. Small Business Leadership Conference
Orlando, Florida | June 15-17, 2020 | Cost TBD
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, accounting for a staggering 99 percent of all U.S. businesses. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or the leader of a 100-person team, the Small Business Leadership Conference was set up with you in mind. Although most entrepreneurs think of small businesses as for-profit entities, this event has a broad audience. Nonprofit leaders, community organizers, managers and executives are all invited, giving you an opportunity to learn from leaders, regardless of where they work.
Seattle, Washington | July 6-8, 2020 | $999-$1,499
Now that virtually every company is on the internet, differentiating your products and services online is more difficult than it once was. Learn how to show up for search terms your customers use, optimize your site for mobile and streamline your marketing funnel at this summer event. Although this conference gets a little more technical than others on this list, it’s not just for marketers and content creators. With speakers like Orbit Media’s co-founder, Andy Crestodina, MozCon covers leadership topics like scaling your business, staying on top of trends and supporting creative team members.
Before you’ve solidified your 2020 budget, make some space for building your leadership skills. Many of these conferences are annual events, but do you ever actually attend them? This year, sign up. You might be surprised at just how much of a difference face time with other leaders makes in your mission to become a better one.