Lynn Dickerson, chief executive officer of the Gallo Center for the Arts, will be the local “lunch-and-learn” speaker next week when a leadership conference in Atlanta is simulcast to Modesto and hundreds of locations around the world.
The 16th annual Leadercast will feature nine speakers, including Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, and Kat Cole, group president of Focus Brands, which includes Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s pretzels and more.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Architects of Tomorrow,” focusing on visionary leaders who imagine and build a future that is rich in innovation and collaboration and full of hope.
The daylong simulcast May 6 will be shown at Shelter Cove Community Church, where Dickerson said she will speak on her leadership philosophy and the lessons she’s learned in her 36-year career.
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The longtime newspaper industry executive earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University. She was a former Modesto Bee publisher and McClatchy Co. vice president when hired in 2009 to run the Gallo Center.
“I’m kind of a leadership nerd – I enjoy reading about it and learning about it. I’ve found myself in a lot of leadership positions in the community and in business,” Dickerson said Friday.
To promote Leadercast, she recently recorded a podcast with Michael Douglass, the Modesto event’s master of ceremonies and the president and CEO of Advancing Vibrant Communities. They talked about the traits Dickerson thinks are important in leaders, and how to develop leadership skills. “Because that’s where I kind of am now, nearing the end of my career but mentoring and developing young people on the path to leadership.”
In the podcast, which can be heard at http://vibrantcommunities.org/lynn-dickerson-leadercast-2016, the Gallo exec said she’s always on the lookout for good leaders, people of high integrity. One of the most important characteristics a leader can have is being likable, she said, because “we will do almost anything for someone that we like and respect and believe is doing the right things and has the greater good in mind.”
Another valuable trait, Dickerson told The Bee, is vulnerability. “You don’t get to this point in life where I am without getting beaten up, knocked around, damaged and scarred,” she said. “Leaders who show their vulnerability and weakness are more effective because they’re people you want to follow; they’ve learned hard lessons along the way.
“I’m open about all the places where I’m cracked and broken. I also incorporate my life experiences, like losing my son, losing my job and starting over at 51 in a whole new industry with a whole new career.” Dickerson was promoted from Modesto Bee publisher to McClatchy Co. vice president of operations in 2006, but lost that position in 2009 during corporate downsizing. In the summer of 2007, she and her husband, Ron, lost their youngest son, Ryan, 18, when he died in a swimming-related accident.
Next Friday’s Leadercast will be attended by more than 600 people in Modesto, as well as more than 100,000 people at the live event in Atlanta and at hundreds of other simulcast locations in more than 20 countries.
In addition to Wozniak and Cole, keynote speakers include:
▪ Henry Cloud, acclaimed leadership expert, clinical psychologist and best-selling author
▪ Nick Saban, head football coach, the University of Alabama
▪ Andy Stanley, leadership author and communicator
▪ James Brown, broadcaster with CBS Sports and News
▪ Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL commander and author
▪ Chris Baréz-Brown, author and creativity guru
▪ Tripp Crosby, host of Leadercast, comedian and director
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327
At a glance
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, May 6
Where: Shelter Cove Community Church, 4242 Coffee Road, Modesto
Cost: General admission at door, $149; special-pricing tickets $89 through April 30, $99 May 1-6; half-day, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 11:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., both including lunch-and-learn with Dickerson, $49; lunch-and-learn session only, $29; high school and college students with ID cards, $25
More info: http://leaderstreet.org/tickets.htm