Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2010 Recap

I’m way behind on stuff but still wanted to post a couple of thoughts from last week’s Global Leadership Summit that Willow Creek hosts each year.  I don’t have time to post my full notes so I’ll just give a highlight or two from each speaker.  Today I’ll give you the day 1 line-up and then tomorrow I’ll give you the day 2 notes:

Bill Hybels- I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for him.  From the first time I heard him speak to even today, he makes me cry when he talks.  There is just something that deeply resonates within me as he talks about lost people and how the local church is the hope of the world.  Bill’s talk at the Summit was about a recent time in his life when he was struggling to lead and went back and reminded himself of what he’s learned in 30+ years of leadership.  Again I won’t go into each of them, but the thought that struck me most was this…Leaders move people from “here” to “there”.  Often times though the mistake is spending too much time talking about the “there” (vision) before you’ve adequately made built the case for why it’s unacceptable to stay “here”.

Jim Collins- To be honest since my first degree was in business and marketing, I probably read as many “secular” business books per year as I do Christian ones.  Jim Collins wrote a classic a few years back called, Good to Great. He has gone on to write other books including a new one he just released on why successful businesses sometimes fail.  What was interesting in his talk was that in the first 3 stages of decline (of 5 total), the company or organization is still growing and looks good on the outside.  Once you hit step 4 then it’s the real wake-up call where everyone finally admits what was obvious but ignored because of the apparent look of continued success.  It’s here that either you make the necessary changes or you go on to Step 5 which is “Irrelevance or death” of the business or organization.

Christine Caine- I’ve been hearing about her a lot recently but hadn’t had the opportunity to hear her or read any of her writings.  My bad!  She is a huge bundle of energy packed into a tiny body.  She’s a part of Hillsong Church (one of my favorites).  She heads up many organizations, including one that cares for and helps heal those that have been victims of human trafficking.  My big take away from her was actually one of those Holy Spirit moments where she said something that then led my mind down a similar path so that God could speak to me exactly what it was that He wanted.  Here it is…”Don’t shy away from the darkness. Run to it, because that’s what I’ve called you to do.”

Tony Dungy- Tony of course lead the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl a few years back.  I knew he was a Christian, but how differently he coached the team as a result was amazing.  He refused to coach like all the other coaches and insisted his assistants coach the same way.  I love one of the things he said, “Hours worked doesn’t equal productivity”.  What he was getting at was how some coaches stay until 2-3 am working on game plans thinking that more hours will mean more success.  I see this (and at times have done myself) in pastors all the time.  Instead of sticking to a set schedule, they instead allow the urgent to crowd out the important, but then since the important still needs to be done, they end up working way too many hours.  I told one of my staff the other day…and I’m paraphrasing Jesus, “What does it profit a man if he has the world’s best ministry but sacrifices his marriage”.  Tony got this when it came to coaching and I pray other coaches, business leaders, pastors and myself would keep this in mind.

Adam Hamilton- I had never heard of him before the Summit but the topic he talked about was one that many need to hear.  He was asked to speak because recently two of the staff in his mega-church were caught having an affair with one another.  Adam talked about how to navigate through these difficult times.  Unfortunately you hear more and more about this in churches all the time.  I remember John Bradford’s famous words, “But for the grace of God go I”.  In other words, all (especially males) are capable of this very deadly sin.  That’s one of the reasons I have always had such stringent guidelines for myself when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex.  In fact I’ve had others, including fellow staff members, laugh at me because some of them seem ridiculous, but that’s how seriously I take this.  Something Adam said will be one more tool for tool belt to help me and others.  “You’ve got to recognize the Moment of the Maybe.  That’s when in your mind you start to rationalize, ‘What if’ and fail to imagine the consequences”.

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