Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2020 Thoughtstarter Challenge. This has become a yearly favorite for me because of how much I learn as I go through the Challenge myself. The most challenging week for me was looking ahead and considering what the future holds. So many options and so many opportunities to grow and evolve. As always, I had to remind myself of two things:

  1. Focus on the things that I do really well.
  2. Know the things I don’t do well and rely on really talented people to accelerate into those spaces.

This is also the time of year when I join consulting and people professionals from around the world to attend the R3 Conference on revealing, releasing and realizing human potential. The purpose is to discover, learn and connect so that we can help our clients consider, explore and implement innovative approaches to the most complex part of their business – people.


Attending conference each year is about my expansion. It’s about increasing my awareness and ultimately the awareness of my clients and you as a part of the Thoughtwave Community.

The discovery of patterns, innovations, relevant information, data and perspectives of other leaders is why this is a “won’t miss” event on my calendar. For 17 plus years, I’ve gained an idea that significantly impacted my thought process, my growth and positively impacted progression and results for my clients.

My objective is to help multiply leadership mindsets that focus on fueling excellence and the purposeful development of people in the workplace.

It’s a BIG World Out There

One of the most valuable parts of the conference for me are the connections and relationships with my colleagues from Australia, Brazil, Holland, Ireland, the UK and Turkey.

It’s a big world out there and people like Trevor, Alex, Jared, Hank, Padrig, Sarah and Hassan all connect to a much larger picture and international ideas related to business and the world-wide dynamics of people. These aren’t just my colleagues, they’re my friends and each year I look forward to seeing and learning from them.

Causing people to think beyond boundaries is a cornerstone of my work and relationships with people. No one person or country has all of the best ideas. Collaboration brings together so much more than the isolation of our thoughts, views and insights.

A Demonstrated Ability

In order to claim a broad awareness and understanding, you must first demonstrate your ability to go beyond the boundaries that you’ve established for yourself.

I applaud the longevity of service among leaders in companies, but not at the expense of ideas generated by a broader view. In today’s global marketplace and ever-changing business climate, it’s not enough to repeat the same year of experience 25 times and believe that it represents innovation. It’s also not enough to define the boundaries of your world within a 50-mile radius and believe you possess a global mindset.

What conference reminds me of each year is that building your brain is a focused and deliberate effort. One worth making because investing in yourself provides the highest rate of return.

Next week I’m going to share 5 important ideas from the R3 Conference that you’ll want to consider as you develop people and shape the remainder of your year.

Final Thought

We’re through the first month of the year and 1/3rd of the first quarter is complete. No time to waste in your relentless pursuit of excellence.

Read books, social feeds, online sources, magazines, newspapers, articles, and whatever else you can get your hands on.
Listen to podcasts, interviews and more.
Watch documentaries, the news, and the people around you.


What are you reading and listening to as a part of building your brain in 2020? How do you need to expand your view? What steps are you taking to make this happen? What is your single favorite source for information about the world around you?

Let me know, along with your thoughts, in the comments.

With awareness,