Articulate March 2018

Taking Leaders to New Heights

Written By: Kayla Price

“Match the moment, not the mirror,” said Dan Silvert, two time author and president of Velocity Advising, during the opening keynote of Launch! ’18 Leadership Summit.

The event held on Jan. 23 prompted nearly 600 local business professionals to attend. Industry professionals of diverse levels of expertise and ages showed up to hear tips and tricks for success from the four guest speakers. These speakers included Silvert, Leigh Brown, Terry Watson and Chris Voss.

Each presenter spoke of different aspects of communication and the importance of embracing oneself professionally, understanding how to efficiently communicate with others and resetting and refocusing one’s career goals. The summit provided instructive and effective methods to succeed in the business industry today.

“Bringing hundreds of professionals together in one room for an entire day to learn, lead and grow together goes a long way toward maintaining a collaborative climate,” said Todd Louis, founder of Launch!.

Silvert was up first. Considered an expert on DISC, which is a personal behavior assessment used to improve productivity, teamwork and communication in the workplace; Silvert discussed the four DISC personality profiles: dominant, interactive, supportive and conscientious. He then related those to different types of birds (eagle, parrot, dove and owl), as he does in his novel, “Taking Flight!: Master the DISC Styles to Transform Your Career, Your Relationships…Your Life.” Silvert’s work includes advising clients on the importance of understanding DISC to consider the best way to approach coworkers, managers and clients in a professional setting.

By assessing one’s own personality and that of those around him or her, a professional is able to adapt and achieve success. DISC allows for a deeper understanding of relationships, which can help a professional determine the best way to approach a transaction in a way that is conducive to all parties involved.

Next up was Leigh Brown, author of “Outrageously Authentic: You Are Your Best Sales Weapon” and top realtor in her region. Brown shared what she considers to be the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ of the business world:

1. Abandonment — Not maintaining contact after a business deal has concluded.

2. Cherry-picking — Being picky with clients and partnerships.

3. Not asking enough questions — Not digging deeper to get to know a client or partner.

4. Too much ego — Focus on the business goal, not a personal goal.

5. Reluctance to call — Texting and emailing, rather than a good old fashion phone call.

6. Fluff and puff — Inaccurately describing a deal, making it generic to sound better.

7. Inverted Priorities — Putting work above everything, don’t do it.

Brown, much like Silvert, is a firm believer in embracing one’s personality and using it to connect with clients. She advised listeners to keep in contact with former clients, work with any partnership or client and, most importantly, answer the phone.

“Our generation is too lazy about conversations, preferring email and text over the relationship that happens with humans via voice. Pick it up, and watch your business grow,” she exclaimed.

Brown was followed by Terry Watson, a second-time speaker at the leadership summit. Watson, a motivational speaker at Easify Inc., prides himself on being the “AHA guy.” He discussed how to improve business relationships and close transactions effectively.

“The thing that destroys customer experience is not telling them what is about to happen,” explained Watson. “People forget the person who provides a service, but they never forget someone who gave them an experience.”

The event’s closing keynote was given by former FBI international hostage negotiator turned author and speaker, Chris Voss. Voss advised on negotiating, as it relates to business. He said hostage negotiation skills are transferable to business negotiation, which is also covered in his novel, “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.”

Similar to Brown, Voss emphasized speaking and listening. He recommended working the conversation back to the other party and focusing on those wants and needs.

“No one will listen to you until they feel heard,” said Voss.

Voss endorsed controlling ones tone when speaking, because the tone of one’s voice hits neurons that impact emotions. During a negotiation, Voss said to speak calmly and with emotion to make the other party feel important.

He said negotiation, both in hostage and business situations, is “Intense human behavior.” Both parties believe that their way is the best way, which often allows emotions to run rampant.

Voss firmly stated that compromise is the worst thing that can be achieved. Compromise allows both sides to become lazy and forget what exactly they want. To avoid this, he suggested offering to let the opposite party share its ideas first.

“Regardless of the outcome, people want to be heard and respected,” Voss said.

Launch! ‘19 is set to take place on January 29.

“My vision for the event is the same today as it was four years ago,” said Louis. “To provide a local, affordable opportunity for the Gainesville community to learn from some of the best thinkers, trainers and motivators in the world.”

“Gainesville is such a rich, diverse and forward-thinking community. We deserve it. And now, I think we demand it.”



KAYLA PRICE is a second year Journalism Major at the University of Florida. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, Kayla can be found training her beloved German Shepherd, Diesel, or drinking copious amounts of coffee. As she enjoys reading local news it is her hope to one day work in the news industry to further broadcast events within her community.

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