Today I am spending my day at the annual Global Leadership Summit hosted (and remotely simulcast) by Willow Creek Church. Below are my notes from opening speaker (and Willow’s pastor) Bill Hybels.

  • The courage that leadership requires – Bill Hybels
    • Deut 31:7-8, Joshua 1:9
    • Old fashioned fortitude and bravery
    • Vision is the most potent weapon in the leader’s arsenal
      • A picture of the future that stirs passion in others
      • Move people from HERE to THERE; we cannot stay there
      • Willow Care Center construction story
      • Every vision is going to put the leader’s courage to the test
        • there will always be some people who will not move
        • there will always be some people who will “wait and see”
      • EXERCISE: what is the coolest vision(s) you have
      • visions are holy commodities; do NOT cowardly abort them
    • Leader’s absolute reality to accurately define current reality
    • Leading in three different realities; downturn, status quo, upturn
      • Downturn – leader needs to declare urgency; survival at risk; code red
      • Status quo – org is sleepy; leader needs to set a fire; comm that status quo is slow road to death
      • Upturn – pour fuel on the fire; innovate; build reserves
    • Willow HR score – flourishing, healthy, or toxic
      • People join organizations, they leave managers
      • Staff culture will only ever be as healthy as the leader wants it to be
      • Enormous courage is going to be required to make the large gains needed
      • We are no longer going to pay people to bruise or bust our culture
      • You will not believe the performance differential between flourishing and toxic workers
    • Establishment and enforcement of values
      • the more I use social media, the hungrier I get for face to face contact
      • social media provides the illusion of community
      • torment of a large church with people disconnected
        • loving, passionate community
        • transition from casting vision to defining values
        • cannot have people feel unwelcomed, untouched and unloved
    • Keep leading in spite of:
      • blistering criticism
      • heartbreak and disappointment
    • Courage required to finish strong
      • Launch, sustain and finish
      • Reinventing your style and yourself
      • some of the most rewarding experiences of a leader’s marathon are reserved for late in the race


I am looking forward to what the rest of the summit has in store.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

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