Wisdom from the Global Leadership Summit

I had the privilege of attending a simulcast of Willow Creek Community Church’s 2017 Global Leadership Summit at Asbury UMC in Madison. This is a gathering of high level leaders from various spheres–church, business, education, justice, etc. There are several tidbits that stood out to me as I think back to the speakers and what they had to say about leadership. I share some of the notes I took with you here as things all of us could chew on.

Bill Hybels

  • Employees perform 50% worse if they feel like they’re disrespected by a boss or another employee, and 25% of them take it out on their customers.
  • Ways to cultivate civility in a disrespectful culture and world:
    • 1. Differ without demonizing
    • 2. Have spirited conversation without drawing blood
    • 3. Listen without interrupting
    • 4. Limit your volume level and don’t use incendiary words
    • 5. Be courteous to everyone
    • 6. Apologize
    • 7. Form opinions carefully and stay open to changing your mind
    • 8. Show up
    • 9. Set rules of respect in your organization.

Sheryl Sandberg

  • “You can’t become what you can’t see.”–spoken in reference to how we socialize girls vs. how we socialize boys.
  • Most everyone talks about post-traumatic stress, but you don’t always hear about post traumatic growth. You grow after going through a traumatic experience!

Bryan Stevenson

  • Get proximate to those you want to serve. Leadership means that people must believe you are with them.
  • Change narratives–don’t let harmful narratives define people’s lives
  • Stay hopeful–hopelessness is the enemy of justice. Hope gets us to stand up when other people say sit down.
  • Choose to do something uncomfortable 

Andy Stanley

  • It is almost impossible that you will be the one to discover what is uniquely better and changes the paradigm of your field. But you can be in a position to recognize the game change and adapt when it happens.
  • Be a student, not a critic.
  • Listen to outsiders and people not in your field.
  • Closed-minded leaders close minds. If you lead with closed eyes and a closed mind, you will hurt those under you, even your children. 

Juliet Funt

  • When talented people don’t have time to think, business suffers.
  • Never rush the cooking of a great idea.
  • Great leaders have white space (time to think).
  • Become aware of the thieves of your time: 1. Drive, 2. Excellence, 3. Information, 4. Activity

Sam Adeyemi

  • In leadership, you don’t attract who you want, you attract who you are. 
  • Real and sustainable change in people’s lives begins with a change in their sense of identity. 
  • Sometimes what you’re used to is not where you belong. Your beliefs partly set where you can go in life.
  • Being poor, being a slave, and/or being a colonized person can create a sense of inferiority. This is often accompanied by low self esteem and limiting beliefs about your possibilities. 
  • What people see and hear consistently will enter their hearts and will put their lives on autopilot. 
  • Vision is the way to see things not as they are, but as they could be. Describe your vision over and over. Call out positive vision for a person’s life.
  • Model transformation. People follow a standard they can see. You “die” at one level to evolve to another. Don’t be afraid to give up part of yourself.

Angela Duckworth

  • Grit is sustained passion and perseverance toward long-term goals.
  • Millennials don’t have a lot of grit.
  • With age, experience, and deliberate practice, we grow in grit. 

Gary Haugen

  • The finest leadership training in the world can be rendered useless by fear.
  • Fear replaces a dream of what is possible with a preoccupation with self.
  • We aren’t likely to know what we fear most.
  • Relentlessly inventory your own fears
  • We often get driven by our unexamined fears rather than our dreams and goals.
  • Don’t focus on what could go wrong, but on what could go right.
  • Form a community of courage around you.
  • Our survival and resistance to fear depends on how well we love each other.
  • Courage, like fear, is contagious. 
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Stephen Fincher

Pastor in Tanner, AL with my wife Laura.