Best-selling author Jason Jennings kicked off the MFE Conference with a mighty big promise: "Our hour together will be the most important hour you'll spend?not because of me but because of the incredible information I'll share."

And Jennings lived up to his promise with a motivating keynote address that gave the audience a tremendous amount of food for thought. Jennings, author of Less is More and Think BIG - Act Small, shared leadership secrets gleaned from his studies of the world's fastest, most productive, and best performing companies. The top secrets he counted down:

5. The world's best performing business leaders and companies have a cause that has nothing to do with money.
4. The world's best performing business leaders and companies have mastered the art of letting go.
3. The world's best performing business leaders and companies completely satisfy the right customer.
2. The world's best performing business leaders and companies get everyone to think and act like owners.


And the No. 1 secret? (Drum roll, please.) The world's best performing business leaders and companies are stewards of employees, of capital, of resources, and of shareholders. What exactly is a steward? Someone who puts service over self-interest and abandons power and dominion over others, Jennings said.

Jennings' final words to the audience struck a chord with Star Wars lovers: "Over the last hour, I've shared with you what we've learned from the fastest and most productive companies. Now I say to you, 'Do, or do not. There is no try.'" Sound familiar? Just a little friendly advice from Yoda.