Nov. 14-18 / Dallas, TX
Presented by Young Pro Elite’s Founder: Blake Cavignac

ABC’s Future Leaders Lab held Nov. 15-17 in Dallas, TX, brought together a group of more than 30 young leaders from around the country to expand their leadership development skills. The course, led by Young Pro Elite Founder, Blake Cavignac, covered six topics including a self-assessment, vision & goals, productivity, core beliefs & values, personal branding and adverse management.

After completing the self-assessment, we spent about 10 minutes writing what we learned about ourselves, and then identified outcomes we’d like to accomplish by the end of the conference and why those outcomes are important.  The group brainstormed specific behaviors needed during the course of the conference in order to accomplish those outcomes. For example, staying focused and not checking email except during our allotted breaks.


Vision & Goals: There was about 20 minutes allotted to self-work where we answered “vision questions” in which we outlined what we would envision our role in the company, contribution to our company and goals would be by a certain date one-to-two years down the road. 

We also did an exercise where we answered a list of questions about our “ideal workday.” This included both personal and professional ideals from what time we would hope to wake up each day, who we spend our mornings with, how we get to work, what the office environment in which we work is like, to whether or not we spend most of our time collaborating with others or on the phone with clients. By identifying an average day that we would be happy with living, we are allowing ourselves to get on the right path toward accomplishing our goals.

Cairn Planner: Metaphorically speaking, this process is similar to hiking a mountain and reaching the summit. At each stop, you have different “outcomes” which require different efforts to reach, all with the summit in mind of reaching the main goal identified. Under each of those outcomes are “efforts” needed to reach those outcomes. 

While we identified these goals and tasks to get there, we also wrote down start and end dates for these goals, along with why it’s important and what benefits there will be once it is accomplished so that in challenging times, we can remain focused on the end-goal.

Next, we dove even deeper and outlined what our “route” would look like. We outlined certain times of days that should be spent on strategy versus answering email and phone calls. We also identified habits and behaviors we would have to implement in order for each day to be productive. We discussed as a group ways to handle certain issues at the office like an overload of emails or working in an open office. 

Core Beliefs & Values: This next section brought our goals to a more personal level as we outlined specific values and character traits that we believe we must live by in order to accomplish our goals and why they are important to us. While we all have a vision, it’s important to align those visions with who we are at our core and to not compromise our beliefs. 

Personal Brand: The next section focused on the importance of first impressions and knowing what you want others to think about you—not just what you think about yourself. We listed values and traits we would want associated with our personal brand and what we want to be known as an expert in. In addition, we broke it down to what specific skills we would need in the workplace in order to showcase these traits. 

We also discussed what platforms we can use to be proactive about increasing awareness about our brand. For example, social media and personal websites are a good way to showcase the traits you want others to see in you. It also could include peer groups and industry organizations you are involved in. 

Adverse Management: Lastly, we discussed in our accountability groups certain adversities we feel we face in our current situations, what makes us uncomfortable about those situations and what the ultimate outcomes are in facing those challenges. Overcoming certain situations we do not control can be tough, but having a plan and action items will minimize the effect it has on reaching set goals.

This conference allowed many of attendee’s to complete self-assessments and leadership exercises that they may not have fully been aware of beforehand, but the important piece is remembering to implement these plans into our daily lives. By having accountability groups, we will have monthly conversations with each other to see if we are on track to meet our goals and taking the necessary steps to be proactive in how we live our daily lives.