Empowerment over coffee and conversations

TBE 2014 Coffee and Conversations RecapEmpowerment at its best provides not just the instructions on how someone else did something, but the why that gives deeper insight to not just replicate their success but to have the tools to make a path of your own.  A poignant opportunity for this type of empowerment came with the “Coffee & Conversation” Business Empowerment Series at the Texas Black Expo.  This series featured intimate insight from Jeff Hoffman, Founding member of Priceline” but also opened the floor for other business leaders to share their insight on attaining success.

TBE 2014 Coffee and Conversations Keynote speakerAs the keynote speaker, Jeff Hoffman started the series off with a focus not on the how to of running or building a travel titian or by retracing the steps that lead him to the success.  The keynote speech instead took a retrospective of how to intertwine being a success in business with being a success in life.  Within the words he share the message was not a life built on bottom lines and increasing bank accounts but on an internal drive of passion and purpose that allowed Jeff to “take a chance on excellence because money follows excellence”.  This focus has proven fruitful as Jeff has contributed to building a company that is a household name and now continues to build his personal legacy on demanding excellence from himself to motivate this same excellence from others.  In this spirit of servant leadership Jeff continues to enable others to become successful.  This point of view provides a never-ending well of inspiration as the purpose to make money to empower him to build people far exceeds the purpose of making money that stops at the bank.

With these motivating opening words peaking the rooms interest, the panelist were able to share add to the conversation on success by exploring some critical areas that determine one’s level of success both internally and by the world.  Here are some of their key insights:

TBE 2014 Coffee and Conversations panelistCore strengths: The challenge in developing ones core strengths is in the appreciation that it is a journey, not a destination.  By rising to the challenge that there is always that possibility that one can do better you can see areas of greatness but also areas for improvement.  Additionally this internal challenge can be applied outward.  In doing so encounters with others around you promote the challenge to leave others better than you found them. This endeavor ultimately provides a win-win motivation to push oneself harder as you see the reward in others as wells as within.

Team Development:  Entrepreneurs have the challenge of being not just a boss but a critical member of a team.  In doing so recognizing what people do well guarantees not just personal success but the success of the business as well.  By checking the ego at the door the boss can accept help when need and find empowering ways to delegate work that develops the team around them.

Skills of a CEO vs. the skills of an entrepreneur: The skills are different and in recognizing the difference you can get the best skillset out of all members of the team.  An entrepreneur is a problems solver, however, to be CEO these skills have to be coupled with organization, systems building and execution.  If an entrepreneur does not have this skill set to be a CEO they can still build an empire by working with others who can provide the skillset they are lacking.

Networking Strategies: Strong networking skills are just that, a skill.  While some are naturally gifted with a friendly or outgoing personality, by honing the skillset anyone can successfully become great at networking.  The panelist used books like “How to Work a Room” or programs like Toastmasters and the American Leadership Forum to cultivate the skills that made a lasting impression on others by how they treated them, not just what they said.





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