Looking to add to your conference wish list? Read our EntreLeadership Summit 2019 recap & review


If you’re not learning, you’re not leading. This message was repeated by just about every speaker over the course of the EntreLeadership Summit earlier this spring and it’s something I completely agree with.

Where do you do your learning?

EntreLeadership Summit considerations

Before I go on, I have to admit that I’m an EntreLeadership fan. I’ve been listening to the podcast for years (and recommending it to most entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to) and going to Summit was on my work-event bucket list.

Sixty of us from the Gravitas Impact Premium Coaches community and 20 lucky clients got to share in a VIP experience at Summit 2019 in San Diego.

When I described some of my experiences at Summit to my wife (a CPA who attends countless conferences), she sat across from me with a puzzled expression on her face. This isn’t your typical conference. It’s one part conference, one part motivational event, one part nightclub, each piece a spectacle in and of itself.

Imagine this: the EntreLeadership Summit experience

It’s day zero and you’re invited to the super-secret opening reception. You and 4,000 of your closest friends gather in the lobby and make your way down the road-a road that leads to the USS Midway for a private party. Grazing stations littering the venue, a live band, DJ, tours and fireworks. EntreLeadership prides itself on raising the bar on their opening reception every year. Their opening reception didn’t disappoint-the energy was palpable.

The conference’s primary target audience are the up and coming business leaders, those who lined the dance floor in preparation for Dave Ramsey’s opening keynote. His grand entrance? A countdown in unison by all 4,000 people and a standing ovation.

Over the course of three days there were a dozen world-class speakers, including Dave Ramsey, Dr. Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Marcus Buckingham (with new material), Simon Sinek (also with new material) and many others. My mind was leaking out my ear by the end of it.

The downsides. While the material was great for its target audience of young business leaders the overly motivational delivery wasn’t my cup of tea. Plus, there weren’t enough intellectual, actionable takeaways for an industry veteran like me.

The seating was atrocious. I think I had more shoulder room on the airplane going to San Diego. There were no tables for taking notes, unless you were a platinum guest. I guess with a crowd that size tables weren’t an option.

But the energy. So much energy. I can totally see how an entrepreneur can show up burnt out from leadership, get a little solid content and a lot of motivation and come out renewed and ready to take on the world. Clearly it works, as there was a giant line up to buy Summit 2020 tickets on the last day of the conference.

The big question: would I go back?

On day one I would have said absolutely. But as the over-stimulation and content overload kicked in, I wasn’t as sure. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, my attendance would depend on the speaker lineup. The speakers would makeup for the motivation style which doesn’t suit me well.

My recommendation to those interested in going is to go with a group-learn together during the day then come together in the evenings to talk application. After all, what good is learning if you can’t find ways to apply it?

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