14 Jan, 2020

3 Key Takeaways from Pendulum 2020

This year marks the 7th annual Pendulum Summit - 2020 Vision. This event leaves those who attend inspired and motivated by the presentations and life stories of business leaders and inspirational figures from around the world.

This year marks the 7th Pendulum summit. Every time that I’ve attended, I’ve come away inspired by the words of business leaders from across the globe.

Speakers on the second day at Pendulum 2020 included Bear Grylls, Christy Dignam and Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes. The summit is full of insights but I've captured 3 of my favourite ones below:

1) Embrace the defining moments in your life

In multiple talks, the speakers referenced a standout moment in their lives that motivated them down their paths of success. For Christy Dignam, it was the day he realised that Slade came from a similar social demographic in Birmingham to where he grew up in Finglas meaning that musical stardom could be within his own reach or for Stedman Graham it was his local shop keeper telling him as a kid that he was “too dumb” to make it to college only for him to go on and achieve an undergrad and masters before writing multiple bestsellers. What was interesting in all the stories that these defining moments did not break the spirits of the individuals but instead were used to motivate their future growth. The poem "the Race" was referenced in Stedman Graham's talk and it served to highlight the importance of perseverance in life and is a timely reminder for business leaders in Ireland to keep going.

2) You can be right and wrong at the same time

One of the most interesting talks of the summit came from Ex Enron CFO, Andy Fastow as he brought the audience on a journey inside his head during the rise and ultimate collapse of Enron in the early 2000s. His acceptance of full responsibility was clear from the very start but what was interesting to learn was that everything the leadership team did at Enron before the company collapsed (i.e. off-balance sheet financing and Structured financing) was all technically legal. Issues only arose when their systematic use of loopholes to abuse the spirit of US laws, that were supposed to protect against corporate fraud, got out of control. Interestingly when asked, the vast majority of the audience didn't see any issues with using loopholes as a competitive advantage in business. The key learning from Andy Fastow was for leaders to ask the right questions of themselves starting with "is your behaviour acceptable" - a good benchmark for any business leaders to adhere to.

3) Create your future from the unknown, not the known

The last talk of the summit was from Dr. Joe Dispenza - this was an epic talk entitled "Rewired" than spanned a range of subject matters connected to how humans are programmed to be on autopilot for most of our lives without ever really stopping to think about what we are doing or where we are going in our lives. He challenged attendees to use the power of their minds to overcome the basic urges or daily routines driven by a mindless body. For example, morning routines should move from the instant need to wake up, pick up your phone, check your WhatsApp, check your personal email, check your work email all before you're even fully awake to a more mindful process of reflection and daily planning. He flagged that the hardest part of change is not making the same choices as you did yesterday (i.e. the comfortable answers) but instead stepping into the river of change, seeking to understand the unknown. If business leaders are looking to drive change in their businesses, then they need to be willing to step into the unknown and try new things.

Pendulum Summit continues to go from strength to strength every year - I look forward to seeing more Irish grown business leaders using this platform to inspire other future leaders in the years to come.

Lorcan Bannon,

Food Business Specialist