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“Telling the Truth Is a Competitive Advantage” | Leadership Lessons from the Inc500/5000 Conference

Inc500-largeIt’s already been a few weeks since the 2013 Inc500|5000 Conference in Washington, D.C., but I’m only now beginning to process the awesomeness of the event. The annual conference honors the fastest-growing businesses in America and brings together some of today’s most intelligent, interesting and charismatic thought leaders.

Because CareerBuilder is a proud sponsor of the conference, I had the pleasure of attending the event myself, and listening to several of this year’s impressive list of conference speakers. Below are the best musings from the 2013 Inc500|5000 Conference on various leadership topics that can be applied universally to your own success – regardless of what you do or where you are in your career.

On providing value:

“When money is tight, people buy things that have true value. A company shouldn’t exist without a problem to solve.” – Ping Fu, VP & Chief Strategy Officer, 3D Systems

“You need to tie your people into the value your company creates. Our company creates value. We never would’ve gotten there without our people.” – Jack Stack, author of The Great Game Of Business

“If you want to influence, be of value to others. If you want to influence, shoot attention out at others. If you want to influence, point the limelight on other people.”- Laura Fitton, Inbound Marketing Evangelist, HubSpot; Founder, Oneforty

On branding:

“Culture isn’t just in support of strategy. In many ways culture is strategy.” – Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good to Great

“Ultimately, your brand is defined by what you make, and how you make people feel.” – Marc Ecko, author of Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out

“Telling the truth is a competitive advantage.”- Jack Stack, author of The Great Game Of Business

On the people who define your success:

“Have a system in place to reward employees. Focus on motivating them and keeping them engaged so you’ll be successful in the long term.” – Dr. Gary Kunkle, Economist in Residence, The Build Network; Research Director, The Build Midmarket Genome Project

“There are two types of employees every company needs: Visionaries and operators. Visionaries start things. Operators finish things. They’re the McGuyvers of the business world.” – Les McKeown, president and CEO, Predictable Success

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” -Jim Collins

“If you don’t have the desire to create leaders…you miss opportunities.” – Jack Stack

On not being afraid to take risks:

“Going down is not a failure, because it is the valley where your next opportunity lies.” – Ping Fu

“Never feel bad about successfully selling your creations, and never feel bad about creating something you can’t sell. Learn to embrace messiness of creation. It’s okay to make a mess.” – Marc Ecko

“I’m not scared if I’m wrong, because the alternative is scarier to me. Better businesses than ours have lost by not innovating.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder of Vayner Media, best-selling author of The Thank You Economy

On the attributes of a great leader:

“The X factor of great leadership is humility.” – Jim Collins

“Stay loyal to your employees, and your employees will stay loyal to you.” – Jack Stack

“Be generous. The more you give, the more you get back. To build the right followers, take care of the ones you have.” – Laura Fitton

Tell us: Did you attend the 2013 Inc500|5000 Conference? Who were your favorite speakers?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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