Leadership at the Highest Level (EL Summit D1)

When was the last time you sat down with someone to talk without your cell phone?

Today was one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences… a bucket-list moment. Along with about 1,500 business leaders, we had an audience with a former President of the United States. George W. Bush (43rd President) was live and in person!

I’m not sure if I’ll ever observe something like that in my lifetime again (but I sure hope that I do)!

Here’s an interesting spin on the presentation. It was a high security event which I’ve also never witnessed. For obvious reasons, there were Secret Service Agents and police present to make sure that the event went safely and smoothly.

This was a closed press event with NO personal recording, photography, or note taking! We were actually restricted from cell phone use. Its been a long time since I’ve put my cell phone away during a meeting or a presentation.

Today, I learned that I should probably put my phone away more often. I initially thought… “how am I going to learn if I can’t take any notes?” It was remarkable… I didn’t take a single note during George W. Bush’s interview with Dave Ramsey.

I was present, I was engaged, and I was focused. While I don’t remember every nugget of wisdom, I found a way to remember the main points. I quickly scribbled all of my notes down after the presentation was over. Here’s what I wrote:

  • On reflecting about George W. Bush’s book about his father, George H.W. Bush, he said “the GREATEST gift a father can give his children is unconditional LOVE.
  • “You can LEARN a lot from HISTORY… if you don’t get stuck in the past.”
  • The 3 Leadership Qualities that George W. Bush looked for in hiring his staff:
    1. Humility – its about the Mission of the Country (not your personal agenda)
    2. Faithfulness/Loyalty – commitment to each other
    3. Honesty – not afraid to speak up
  • George W. Bush said that he was NEVER fearful during his presidency, because he relied on the support of a brilliant team of advisors.
  • President Bush stopped drinking alcohol in the ’80s. Not because he was a drunk, but because it tended to “cloud his priorities.”
  • Popularity is fleeting; when faced with a tough situation… focus on making the right decision
  • President Bush’s advice for entrepreneurs, “NEVER get discouraged. Our country needs and depends on you. 70% of NEW jobs are created by small business owners.”

Regarding the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, he said that he was at an elementary school listening to a 2nd or 3rd grader read. While you could never be fully prepared for the events that fateful day, he said that you CAN control the way you react and communicate after horrible things happen:

  • The leader MUST communicate clearly (direct and to the point)
  • The leader MUST also remain calm and collected despite calamity (resist the urge to panic)

~Kyle Malnati


Madison Commercial Properties is a mission-driven group dedicated to serving clients that own apartment buildings in Central Denver; our clients own apartments to fund an enjoyable retirement, create net worth, build a family legacy, and provide housing in Denver’s core neighborhoods. We are passionate about doing work that matters. We are a team of energetic, motivated professionals who absolutely love what we do.

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