Professionals “ignite” their leadership skills during conference

The Ignite Conference featured a former Navy Seal and an Olympic Gold Medalist

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – An Olympic gold medalist, a former Navy Seal commander, and a best selling author shared the stage during a leadership conference in Tupelo.

It didn’t take long before former Navy Seal Commander Rorke Denver had some audience participation in his presentation.

Denver was one of three speakers at this year’s “IGNITE” conference, organized by   Tupelo’s Community Development Foundation.

“We’re helping the next generation of leaders define themselves and this is what this is all about, each year, as Zig Ziglar, another native Mississippian from Yazoo City said, “it’s a check-up from the neck up,” said David Rumbarger, President of the CDF.

Rorke Denver now uses Navy Seal principles to teach leaders to perform at their highest levels with his company, “Ever Onward.”  He says many of those skills translate well to the corporate world.

“We talked about, calm is contagious, one of the number one things I learned.  Instead of learning how to fight, shoot or blow something up, it was, can I keep my cool and keep my team connected and focused on a mission when others are losing their head,” Denver said.

David Horsager founder of the “Trust Edge Leadership Institute”  says developing and fostering trust is key in any successful business,  large or small.

“If I was going to give one quote from today, it’s the little things done consistently that make the biggest difference.  Trust is built on the little things done consistently,” Horsager said.

Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes encouraged leaders to keep their priorities in line.

“At the end of the day, if my marriage is falling apart if my relationship with God is falling apart and if I am not the best mother that I can be to my kids, I would have failed, that’s the top of the mountain,” Dawes said.

And whether they work at a nonprofit or the private sector, participants say they learn valuable leadership lessons every year.

“You do actually leave here energized, and that, ok, I can do this, and they encouraged us to be the best we can be so we look forward to it and apply it to our work,” said Zell Long, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi.

“It’s all about communicating like we heard, it’s like really committing to the job and communicating with your team members, because at Reed’s, we may have one job, but to do our one job, we have to go through a bunch of other people to get the whole job done, this is a great way for us to better that,” said Madison Bryan, a manager at Reed’s.

This is the fifth year CDF has organized the IGNITE Leadership Conference.

Next year’s IGNITE Conference will take place on January 12th, 2023.



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