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Best Leadership Advice We Heard at X4

Our minds are filled with inspiration and feelings of empowerment coming out of the Qualtrics 2019 X4 Summit. While we sort through our notes to bring you a taste of the best of X4 2019, BNO-style, here’s a thought leadership sample from the all-star lineup that included Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama and more.


President Barack Obama, on the experience of making the toughest leadership calls:

“The last piece of this, that was the most critical part, was having the confidence to have people around you who are smarter than you, or disagreed with you, or had different perspectives than yours.”

Watch the clip above for the full answer with two additional pieces of advice on making tough calls.

Oprah Winfrey, on making a breakthrough (her first Emmy) after learning to lead with intention:

“This principle of intention not only changed the way I did shows. It changed the way I did everything. I don’t do ANY-THING without thinking about what do I ultimately want. The energy, the motivation that I’m putting into it, what is the end result going to be? I make no decision without thinking about intention first, including coming here today. I only do what I intend to do.”

Sir Richard Branson, on the importance of listening in leadership:

“You already know what you think. You don’t need to hear your own self talk.”

Adam Silver at X4 Summit

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, on how the best leaders align employee and customer experience:

“It takes data and judgment. You need to have both.”

Imagine Dragons front-man Dan Reynolds, on leading with authenticity:

“You can get relatively successful as a musician being a bull****er … but you can’t get to here [gestures high above his head]. In order to get here you have to be completely authentic to who you are. I really love big songs. And I also was raised in a conservative home where I spent my entire life trying to communicate without swearing. A lot of people say ‘oh you write clean music.’ We don’t write clean music to write clean music, I write clean music because that’s what I like. I grew up on Paul Simon and Cat Stevens. You have to be completely authentic to who you are.”

Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith, on leadership, employee experience and culture:

“Culture is what happens when I’m not in the building.”

Please follow us and stay tuned for more highlights from X4! And please reach out if we can help you maximize your customer and employee experiences by understanding what drives them and crafting communications that resonate.

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