Real Inspiration from #Inspire2013

Geraldine McBride at Kea's Inspire 2013It’s not often that you get a conference that does exactly what it says on the lid. Inspire Auckland did exactly that, at least for this Aucklander.

Many conferences present only the success stories, but the winners of the World Class New Zealander Awards gave us some stories from the bottom of the roller coaster.

My favourite “success” story was Dr. Doug Cleverly (a perfect name for a self-proclaimed mad scientist!) narrating his company’s survival of the Global Financial Crisis. Survival is the key word, and Doug was very frank about things he could have done better.

As a business owner, I love stories like that. Because I’m far from perfect. I don’t make perfect decisions, and so I love to hear others admit their weaknesses. Ironically, it gives me a lot of confidence in that person. 

Other highlights:

  • David Slack‘s MCing … consummate professionalism.
  • Rob Fyfe’s Q&A session, where he double triple quadruple confirmed what I know and often forget – a leader’s job is 100% communication. 
  • Geraldine McBride’s inkling about NZ’s raw energy, the sense we’re about to wreak something on the world, and our “disobedient thinking” has something to do with it
  • Dr Sean Simpson’s raw energy and (again!) self-deprecating wit, as well as the amazing things that Lanzatech is doing in the energy sector.
  • Annabel Langbein’s humility mixed with iron will, her startup stories, the importance of a cause that you believe in, and the interesting news that it never gets easier… 
  • Wayne Norrie’s excellent presentation on 6 things NZ businesses need. Boiled down, the common theme was open eyes and ears. Looking and listening to the market, from all angles.

The guys from 90minutes interviewed me (I’ll post the link here when it’s up), and this blog post is my attempt to say what I remember about 90 seconds after being interviewed. 🙂 

Did you go to Inspire Auckland (or view the live stream)? What were your top takeaways?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *