November 2 First Fridays Review

If you missed yesterday’s First Fridays, here is a quick snapshot of what happened. I’ll be uploading a video soon so you can hear Matt Konkler’s presentation.

We had a great crowd again! Thank you, veterans, for your service. We are always thankful for you!

Matt Konkler shared insights on leadership from his experiences serving in Washington, D.C. with Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates. Great stories. Valuable lessons.

Here are the leadership traits Matt saw on display in some of the top leaders in our nation.

Matt shared these characteristics that we. An all aspire to.

First Fridays in Photos – October 5

Cincy video feed

Fort Wayne, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio linked up via video for opening announcements.  Today was the Indiana Wesleyan University Cincinnati campus 1st First Fridays!  We are so excited for them and their future success!

Jere introduced both sites to the purpose behind First Fridays.

Cincy first speaker

Cynthia Booth share this in Cincinnati today:

1. Leave a legacy

2. Be a long term thinker

3. Stay the course and stay humble

4. Become better each day…ask yourself, “what do I need to retool to become better?”

5. Prioritize your priorities #servantleadership

Jere and Cynthia Booth

Jere Johnson & Cynthia Booth – the Cincinnati First Fridays speaker

Wayne on visibility

Wayne Robison passionately  shared his heart with the Fort Wayne leaders.

Wayne and Jim



Wayne Robison & Jim Johnson



Oct 5 crowdFort Wayne’s leaders gathered on a rainy morning to become better at First Fridays.

Jan shine brighter



Jan Diaz encouraged us to “Shine Brighter”

Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne

What an inspiring morning! I had the privilege of attending the Passport to Manhood event presented by the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne. Get to know this organization!

This organization influences hundreds of young people in our community. Below are some photo highlight from this morning:

Joe Jordan, CEO of the Club – what a great man!

Pat Hoffman of WANE TV did an excellent job in emceeing the event.

Larry Weigand shared from his heart. “You can’t buy sweat.” “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

The new facility being built.

And the winner is…

Joe Jordan shared this quote.

Leadership Gold Workshop and a Special Deal

Ray Abbott, a First Fridays regular, is conducting a workshop entitled “Leadership Gold” based upon the John Maxwell book with the same name.

Ray has a special code our First Fridays community can use to get a 50% discount! Here is the link to the workshop registration:

Leadership Gold Workshop Registration

Use the code FirstFridays to get 50% off! Thank you, Ray!

You’re Asking the Wrong Question by Jim Johnson

whats the worse that could happenI’ve spoken with many people about their fear or concern over networking.  I typically ask them a question my boss frequently asks:  “What’s the worse that could happen?”  Great question!  But in this case, this is the wrong question to ask.  How about this instead…

What’s the BEST that could happen when you network?  

  • You expand your relationship reach in your community.
  • You start up new friendships.
  • You learn something you didn’t know about your community.
  • You meet influential leaders that will challenge you.
  • You see what leadership looks like outside your company’s four walls.
  • You appreciate your community more by understanding what makes your community work.
  • You help connect others to others.
  • You become a trusted resource.
  • Your life becomes more enriched.

Get out and network!  Great opportunities and experiences await you.  If you don’t know where to start, attend an upcoming First Fridays forum.  Our next one is on Friday the 13th (April 13) on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University.  We meet from 8-9 am.  And it is free.  We ask that participants register via to reserve their spot because seating is limited.

Leadership: What Not to Do – reflections on the Catalyst Leadership Experience

curtis smith


Curtis Smith, Director of Community Outreach, Parkview Health, was the final speaker at yesterday’s Catalyst Leadership Experience.  Curtis presented a powerful message based upon his own experience in transitioning from a career as the most respected meteorologists in our area to his current role.  He was vulnerable, honest, and candid.



Here are some excerpts from his presentation on Leadership:  What Not to Do:

  • Absent Leadership
    • bad leaders tend to hide
    • your team always desires some form of leadership
    • be present – be there for them!
  • Micro-Managing
    • nobody wants this!
    • a great question to ask when a problem arises:  “who should own the problem?”
    • leaders – don’t do more than you should
    • empower your team – don’t empower yourself
  • Connect on a Human Level with your Team
    • know things such as their birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths, etc.
    • invest in your team on a personal level
  • Don’t be too Buddy-Buddy
    • maintain professionalism
  • One Size Does Not Fit All
    • each team member brings different talents to the team
    • meet them where they are
    • help your team members become the best version of themselves
  • Engagement vs Satisfaction
    • having a team member who is merely satisfied at work erodes trust and turns to discontent and unrest
    • you need your team members to be engaged in their work