What business is it of yours? Tales from the #WBF11

Malcolm at the world business forum 2011

I have just come back from attending “The World Business Forum” in NYC which is now an annual event, one that I will definitely attend again in the future.

People have asked me how I found out about it and why I went along, after all, it’s nothing to do with social media and isn’t that where I hang out? Yes it is where I hang out, but I still have a business to run. And to answer the first question, it came from asking a great connection John Spence what he did for his own continued education in the business world, to which he gave me a great long list of what his education consisted of. It put mine, and I bet yours, to shame. Reading at least a business book a week and countless audio books on his travels, the WBF was also a big part of it. If you take a look at their website for next year start planning it in now, Jim Collins is not one to be missed.

Surrounding yourself with 4000 + other key business people in an arena in NYC with guest speakers of outstanding caliber was simply more than amazing. The wealth of knowledge between these folk is staggering, and I want to share a few of the highlights from the speakers that resonated with me the most. That way, you get the benefit of some of their great knowledge too.

Being a speaker also, I want to add in some of my thoughts about their presentations where applicable, to give you an idea of their style and energy. Lets start with:

Taken from Gladwell.com


Malcolm Gladwell Author of The Tipping Point, and Outliers amongst others. www.gladwell.com

He started out and captivated me immediately, was it his signature hair? If you have never seen Malcolm, he looks a little like “Simon and Garfunkel” or “the mad professor” in a nice way with fluffy hair that stands straight up. What he had to say on leadership was definitely not fluff:

  • Leadership is about taking risks. They are operationally risk adverse and are prepared to take the plunge if they feel it’s right.
  • You have to really love whatever it is that you do so it makes you work harder and possibly even to earn less.
  • Take a risk on your brilliant idea.
  • Get Keith Richards biography. Don’t read “how to” books, read biographies and autobiographies.

I could have sat and listened to Malcolm all morning, it was a shame when his segment had finished, and his books are definitely on my “to read” list with Keith Richards’s book already downloaded onto my Kindle.

I will upload my musings and learnings from the event over the next couple of days, but if you could have asked Malcolm a question, what would it be?

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