Dawn Sweeney, CEO of the National Restaurant Association, is an exemplar of extraordinary leadership, my chosen area of focus and professional expertise. I help leaders get better at doing bolder things. Dawn is someone who I watch closely because of the boldness of her initiatives and her successes. The picture above was from the recent session I hosted in Dawn’s office with 35 association leaders. Preparing for this event, and then the event itself, taught me so much. I had the chance to spend one-on-one time with Dawn in advance as we thought through what material would be best. And then at the live event I was the facilitator for a lively conversation that dug deep into the leadership dimension behind her work.

Dawn connected me to Christina Economos years ago, where I learned about her amazing research identifying 10 key elements of a social movement. This has been a key part of every Grand Challenge I help CEOs to design and execute. So, she has been assisting me for some time.

I first met Dawn years ago when she attended a seminar I gave on The Membership Economy, with my good friend and bestselling author, Robbie Baxter. Robbie is also an exemplar in my life. She hosted me in Silicon Valley and introduced me to executives at Apple, Google, Yahoo, and others. She is also an exemplar when it comes to conscientious consulting, writing excellence, and delivering powerful keynotes. Robbie has a new book on the way out, The Forever Transaction. Right now it is the #1 Amazon pre-release.

I purposefully seek out exemplars. I learned long ago the best way to cut my learning curve and excel is to study those who are already doing what I want to do. Who is an exemplar in your life and what will you do this week to imbibe some of their expertise?

“Draw out the best in others by being an exemplar yourself.”