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Powerful Lessons for CEOs: The Unforgettable Moments from Make BIG Happen Summit

Powerful Lessons for CEOs: The 10 Unforgettable Moments from Make BIG Happen Summit

“There will be two kinds of companies at the end of this decade…

…those who are fully utilizing AI…

…and those who are out of business.”

If this prediction from Peter Diamandis feels like a gut punch, that’s because it should be. We are on the horizon of the AI Revolution.

“It’s happening now, it’s on our watch, and it’s the most important happening ever,” Diamandis told a packed room of top CEOs from all around the globe at the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit.

In this new world, being on your game will be more critical than ever before. You will need to be more laser-focused to achieve BIG things. Accountability to your business and your well-being will mean everything.

That’s why CEO Coaching International gathered the world’s boldest CEOs in Miami to deep dive into those themes that matter most to leaders today: AI, longevity, resilience in adversity, and igniting explosive business growth.

LaQuita Cleare

Led by world-class storytelling expert LaQuita Cleare, CEO of Clear Communication Academy, attendees from 14 countries and 40 industries joined CEO Coaching International to hear cutting-edge perspectives from the world’s most preeminent subject matter experts and network with like-minded leaders on a mission to make a BIG impact on the future.

Check out highlights from the event below:

Here are the top moments from the event we can’t stop thinking about.

“The challenges ahead are BIG, but the opportunity for those brave enough to face them will be BIGGER.” – Mark Moses

Despite Diamandis’ stark warning that AI will put CEOs and their businesses in two camps – immersed in the technology or out of business – Mark Moses, CEO of CEO Coaching International, assured us that AI will bring opportunities to those CEOs with the courage to think about the limitless possibilities.

Moses recommended leaders get started by asking themselves the right questions:

  1. Are you aware of whether data is going to have an impact on your business and whether your business is ready for data?
  2. Do you know how to best use AI and your data to make better decisions and predictions about the future?
  3. Do you believe incorporating AI in your business today will drive your valuation, and why?
  4. Do you know where to start to ramp up your AI capacity?
  5. Do you have an AI vision?
Rajeev Kapur

“You have to become the Chief AI Officer in your business.” – Rajeev Kapur

AI expert Rajeev Kapur told us there is only one answer to Moses’ question, “Who owns your AI vision?”

The answer is you.

As leader of your company, “you have to own this vision. You have to become the Chief AI Officer in your business,” he said.

“AI is not social media. AI is not a search engine. When social media came out, what did you say? ‘Oh, let me get my intern to teach me what Instagram is. Let me get my intern to tell me how to Tweet.’ No, no, no. AI is you. You have to own this vision.”

Rob Follows

“When you look at the word life, ‘if’ is at the center of life.” – Rob Follows

Once you set your mind to doing incredible things, whether it’s seizing the opportunities that lie ahead in AI or achieving a breakthrough personal goal, the most remarkable things in life and business can happen when you focus on your mindset.

That mindset, according to Founder/Chairman of STS Capital Partners Rob Follows, starts with “if.”

“Ask yourself: ‘What if I was going to do something that I think is crazy but would really bring a lot of joy and inspiration into my life?’”

The courage to explore that question led Follows, a guy who “couldn’t spell crampon,” to climb Mount Everest and the Seven Summits.

By shedding fear and embracing the curiosity to explore possibilities, Follows says anyone can:

  • Break through self-limiting beliefs and the beliefs projected on you by others
  • Achieve things BIGGER than you ever imagined possible.
Glenn Stearns (left) with Mark Moses (right)

“Everything we do, we can find an excuse for why we can’t do it.” – Glenn Stearns

Star of “Undercover Billionaire,” Horatio Alger Winner, and Founder of Kind Lending, Glenn Stearns has overcome crushing setbacks so many times that it’s not luck, it’s his modus operandi.

From facing childhood trauma to cancer that has left him on a feeding tube, Stearns reminded us that in every decision we make, we have the opportunity to see the sun behind the clouds.

“I think we can find an excuse for why we can’t do something in business or in life,” Stearns said.

By committing to not making excuses, Stearns reminds us that we can create our realities no matter what we face.

“You’re either the victim or the victor. You decide what role you want to play in life,” he said. “I choose to live life, and I don’t want to have any excuse. There’s no reason for it.”

Glenn Stearns (left) with Mark Moses (right)

“A good deal is a state of mind.” – Glenn Stearns

In the same way Stearns takes a principled approach to choosing the role he wants to play in life, he uses one to make deals in the business, too.

“A good deal is a state of mind,” he said. “It’s not where one wins and the other loses. You find that a good partnership is where everybody wins or everybody feels a little hurt. It’s not where one side dominates over the other side because that won’t last.”

Stearns said he once changed a deal at the 11th hour because he was getting too good of a cut. He flew out to meet with his partner and changed the deal to make it more equitable. As a result, that partnership was one of the most loyal in his entrepreneurial journeys.

The lesson? Integrity and awareness of key relationships around you, including your relationship with yourself, can help you navigate the storms and win the long game.

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

“When someone comes to you with an issue, ask if they want comfort or solutions.” – Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, a wellness and human resiliency expert, has studied the science of how we relate to others and show up for them on our Make BIG Happen journeys.

Human kinetic energy, the positive forward momentum that drives forward motion, is something we can all influence.

“How do we help people feel engaged if they feel tired and depleted?” Hanley-Dafoe asked.

The answer is “empathetic attunement.” Simply asking if someone needs “comfort or solutions” when they approach us for help can change everything.

“When we feel big feelings like being overwhelmed, we feel alone in that big feeling. As soon as we have one ally willing to stand with us, everything suddenly becomes much more possible,” Hanley-Dafoe said.

Dr. Matt Dawson

“William Gibson said, ‘The future is here. It’s just unevenly distributed.’ That’s never been more true than in AI and medicine.” – Dr. Matt Dawson

As a CEO, AI is your present. You must be prepared to face it as it pertains to business, and you are in the unique position to use it as a partner to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

CEO of Wild Health Dr. Matt Dawson illuminated the possibilities of using AI in longevity. Though that opportunity is still cost-prohibitive for the general population, many CEOs have the privilege of exploring precision medicine today.

“We sequence the DNA of every patient that we see. We look at about a million sites on your DNA to see how you’ve turned your epigenetics up or down in different specific genes,” he explained. In total, we take millions of data points and put them into an AI algorithm that gives precision recommendations specifically for you.”

Access to precision medicine does not absolve CEOs of their responsibilities to themselves, according to Dawson. “DNA only accounts for about 20% of your health outcome. The other 80% is made up of what you do.”

Here are Dawson’s top six habits to keep you on your game:

  1. Exercise: Moving gets your blood pumping in healthy ways and can relieve one of the biggest silent killers: stress.
  2. Journal: Reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and all you have to be grateful for can shrink your problems and your stress down to size.
  3. Sleep Longer, Better: Studies show quality sleep is more important than ever. Turn off screens an hour before sleep to reap the biggest benefit.
  4. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods: More leafy greens, fish, and fruit; less carbs and processed meat. And, yes — it’s time to break up with sugar.
  5. Minimize Toxin Exposure: Upgrade the plumbing and airflow at your home and office. Your body will thank you.
  6. Connect with Others: Join a yoga class, play doubles tennis with your spouse, form a CEO book club, or go for a mountain bike ride with your CEO coach.
Peter Diamandis (left) and Mark Moses (right)

“Make yourself the CEO of your own health.” – Peter Diamandis, M.D.

“There will be a point at which science extends your life for more than a year. That idea is called longevity escape velocity.”

Peter Diamandis, M.D. said that point may be as close as six years from now.

Combined with an AI diagnostic revolution and Dawson’s diagnostic medicine, we are at the precipice of having tools that could help us live to 120, provided we “don’t do something stupid,” Diamandis said.

In that future frontier, you will have the ultimate agency, and it’s up to us to take control of that future. “The mission,” Diamandis said “is to make you the CEO of your health information to make the choices yourself.”

Note to Your Future Self – Join Us for the 2025 Make BIG Happen Summit

As we reflect on those moments we can’t stop thinking about from the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit, it’s clear that we stand at a pivotal juncture in history. Our time together was a masterclass in thriving in the new world.

Elon Musk told Peter Diamandis if you look at the pace of AI today, “it appears to be growing by a factor of 10 every six months.”

At that pace, we can’t wait to see what you’ve done by the time Summit 2025 arrives, and we can’t wait to challenge you in BIGGER and bolder ways.

Save the date: April 25-27, 2025

Other Quotable Moments from the Make BIG Happen Summit

Cyrus Sigari

“If you look at the news today things are kind of sad, but my goodness, if our ancestors and hunter-gatherers could see the incredible innovations that are being created from quantum computing to all these incredible toys, they would consider us gods.” – Cyrus Sigari

With everything happening everywhere all at once, figuring out how to adapt to the changes ahead can be daunting. Cyrus Sigari reminded us of all that we’ve accomplished and how positive the future can be if we shift our perspectives.

Randy Koch

“I’ve seen more than 60 different AI strategies, and some of them are 50 pages. I can’t even understand them. Keep it simple. Keep it clear.” – Randy Koch

To win in AI, a strategy will be key to tying new activities to business and aligning key partners to Make BIG Happen. Get more by jumpstarting your AI Roadmap with CEO Coaching International Partner and Coach Randy Koch.

Rick Sapio

“Control your fear.” – Rick Sapio

Through a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Mutual Capital Alliance Founder and CEO Rick Sapio has learned that mindset is the most important asset we can have. By controlling your fear, you can step back and overcome any challenge you may face.

Adam Sud

“I focused less on what was the matter with me and more on what matters to me.” Adam Sud

By focusing on the outcome he wanted instead of the problems he was facing, Behavioral Wellness and Nutrition Expert Adam Sud was able to overcome multiple addictions, serious chronic diseases, and mental health disorders after attempting suicide. If we create environments that match our goals, Sud is a reminder of how far we can come by via the power of our own minds.

Britnie Turner

“But what I’ve also learned is that every obstacle has an expansion. It’s for your expansion, and your expansion has a ripple effect because if it wasn’t for this, then I wouldn’t have had this.” – Britnie Turner

Jeremy Locke

“You guys are very influential, powerful people, and you always hear that term like 10x right? Like we’re gonna 10x things. But, what you also have is you have 10x the pressure on you.” – Jeremy Locke

Britnie Turner and Jeremy Locke’s unlikely paths have proved that it’s possible to build a life business, do good, and find personal fulfillment at the same time. They also remind us that we can use our own challenges in life to create something great for ourselves and for the world.

Kaia Roman

“The more all of us are operating at peak performance. The more we can make the impact that we want to make in this world.” – Kaia Roman

There’s power in looking at this differently to operate at your best. Kaia Roman challenged us to reconsider our assumptions about psychedelics and consider a world in which all of us show up together as our best selves.

Peter Fioretti
LaQuita Cleare and Peter Fioretti

“I don’t do business with anybody that I don’t think would be someone I want to be good friends with.” – Peter Fioretti

We are our networks. Whether personally or in business, Peter Fioretti reminds us that the relationships we keep can impact everything.

Mike Richie (left) and Frank de Jong (right)

“Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality.” – Mike Ritchie, President and CEO of Arrow Machine and Fabrication Group

Joel Myers (left) and Frank de Jong (right)

“Don’t quit. And keep in mind that your focus is going to change over time what you need to focus on.” – Joel Myers, Founder and Executive Chairman, Accuweather

Mark Moses (left) and Evan Nierman (right)

“You have to be willing to look at yourself and say, ‘Maybe I don’t have every answer. That’s all right.’ I do believe that there’s power and vulnerability and honesty.” – Evan Nierman, Founder & CEO, Red Banyan

We were honored to invite our community members to the stage to share their Make BIG Happen stories. There’s no BIGGER inspiration than from those who have been there and done that. Special thanks to Mike Ritchie, Joel Myers, and Evan Nierman for sharing your wisdom and first-hand experience.

The AI Imperative: Why CEOs Must Act Now to Harness Artificial Intelligence: As CEOs continue to learn about and appreciate AI’s vast potential, they’re also faced with a more pressing need: to act, now. The choice before leaders is clear: create an AI Roadmap that will Make BIG Happen, or stay small and get left behind.

Ageless, Fearless, and Limitless Longevity: The Ultimate Playbook for CEOs to Reclaim Your Mojo and Thrive at 120:“Live 120 Years Young” was one of the Four Groundbreaking Event Themes at the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit. And while some of our attendees may have gone to Miami Beach thinking this theme would lean into sci-fi territory, our world-class speakers demonstrated that there’s a lot more science than fiction to the latest developments in human longevity.

About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average revenue CAGR of 31% (2.6X the U.S. average) and an average EBITDA CAGR of 52.3% (more than 5X the U.S. average).

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