The Global Leadership Summit has become an annual staple of leadership challenge for me and it’s an event I’d greatly encourage you to attend next year. Over 160,000 leaders join worldwide for the 2-day simulcasted leadership event. I’m attending the event from Lives Changed by Christ Church in Central PA.
From Day 1, here is a quick overview of each speaker, their challenge, and a few statements that were meaningful to me. For greater context to each talk, I recommend you check out Justin Wise’s Blog and the Twitter hashtag #wcagls.
Bill is the Founder and Senior Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. He also founded The Global Leadership Summit which now is shown in 85 countries. He challenged us with a parable of The Sower and The Seed from Luke 8 and brought to our attention the fact that if we expect more trees (fruit, life change, etc.) then as leaders, we have to constantly be sowing more and more seed. Near the end of Bill’s talk he focused on Succession Planning and talked about how he wants to finish the next 5-10 years at Willow. What grabbed my attention most wasn’t so much the content of what he was saying, but the fact that he WAS saying it. All leaders know there comes an end and they work tirelessly to move their teams to that point. It was refreshing to hear a great leader like Bill naming his reality and sharing in such a vulnerable way.
- The parable suggests a 75% seed-rejection scenario so if we expect more trees, we can’t complain about how few trees we see, we must sow more seed.
- Leader: your entire organization takes its seed sowing cues from you and entropy cannot occur on your watch.
- Leaders must become incessant tinker-ers…always wanting things to become better.
- Many leaders incorrectly assume their most valuable asset is time, but it’s actually their energy and ability to energize others.
- YOU are the most difficult person you will ever lead.
- If you really care about the people you lead, you have to humble yourself and learn from anyone who can help you get better.
Condoleezza Rice is a professor of Political Science at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and she is the former Secretary of State of the United States of America. She helped us see the difference between freedom and democracy and the responsibility that each of us have a citizens and followers of Christ to make sure that each and every human life is valued.
- Freedom is not the same thing as democracy. Democracy is the institutionalization of those freedoms. It understands that freedoms come with responsibility.
- Mature democracy requires and understanding that democracy cannot mean the tyranny of the majority. It requires an understanding that the strong cannot exploit the weak.
- With democracy there are no kings and queens. Every life is worthy and capable of greatness. Thus, we have an obligation to make sure that the opportunity is there.
- Leadership is helping others recognize their own potential and leadership qualities.
- The most important characteristic in a leader is irrepressible optimism.
- Out of struggle often comes victory. We forget it is a privilege to struggle.
- Never accept the world as it is. Work for the world that can be.
Jim Collins is a nationally acclaimed business thinker and author. He is a former faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He’s written books such as Good to Great, Built to Last, Why the Mighty Fall, and Great by Choice. Jim is constantly asking, “Why do some enterprises thrive in uncertainty and others do not?” So he challenged us with a few principles that can lead to greatness.
- The X-factor of great leadership is humility combined with will.
- There has to become a healthy relationship of fantastic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia.
- The signature of mediocrity is not unwillingness to change, but is chronic inconsistency. Have a 20-mile march strategy.
- As a leader don’t waste your time firing un-callibrated cannonballs, but fire a few bullets first – test things.
- It is a skill to marry creativity and discipline in such a way that discipline amplifies your creativity instead of destroying it.
- The greatest danger is not failure. The greatest danger is to not know why you were successful in the first place.
- The great challenge for leaders is to accept that greatness is not primarily a function of circumstance but it’s a matter of conscious choice and discipline.
- Your organization is not truly great if it cannot be great without you.
Mark Kielburger is the Co-Founder of Free The Children which is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Me to We, a social enterprise providing better choices for a better world including international volunteer trips, leadership training programs, and a socially conscious clothing line that address issues of positive social change. One of the biggest things he challenged us on during his interview was to challenge a child now with the question, “What do you want your legacy to be?”
- As a youth I was asked, “What type of legacy do you want to leave?” and it changed my life.
- People are uniquely made to helps solve a particular issue.
- Gift + Issue = Better World (the way you’re designed can meet a need which leads to a better world)
- Action solidifies understanding. You can’t say you know something yet not live it out.
- Mother Theresa challenged him: “Remember: you can do no great things but you can do small things with great love.”
- We are the generation that we’ve been waiting for so invest in them now and challenge them with legacy.
Sheryl is the author of the award-winning book Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and talked to us about the need for gender equality.
- This issue of the century is gender equality.
- Women and girls aren’t the problem, they’re part of the solution.
- Two worldwide issues that face women are sex trafficking and maternal mortality.
- One of the ways to be happy is to contribute to a cause that is greater than yourself.
- You and I have won the lottery in life. The question is, how are we going to discharge that fortune.
- With great fortune comes great responsibility.
Craig is the Founder and Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv, a multi-site church that holds 76 weekly worship experiences ministering to over 40,000 people. He’s also a popular author of books such as Weird, It, and Soul Detox. Craig spoke to us about that challenge of bridging the generational gap and suggested giving honor as a great way for both the older and younger generation to succeed.
To the Older Generation:
- Don’t fear the younger generation, believe in them because they need you.
- God values maturity so if you’re not dead then you’re not done. God still needs to use you.
- Some of your best days are before you as you take your years of maturity and invest them into someone younger.
- Don’t just delegate tasks to the the next generation. If you do, you’ll just create followers who will do what their told. Delegate authority instead so that you can create leaders.
- With the younger generation authenticity trumps cool every single time.
To the Younger Generation:
- You need those who have gone before you more than you can imagine.
- Because you feel entitle you typically overestimate what you can do in the short run but you’ll almost always underestimate what you can do over a lifetime of faithfulness.
- You have to give honor.
- Honor builds up. Dishonor tears down. Honor believes the best. Dishonor believes the worst. Honor values others. Dishonor devalues them.
- Respect is earned but honor is given. So if you ever want to lead over someone, make sure you serve under with integrity.
- You don’t want a job, you want a calling. You don’t want to make money, you want to make a difference.
Stay tuned for notes from Day 2! If interested in having all of my notes, send me a message and I’ll send them to you!