The Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit Day 1 Recap

This week, I’ve had the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. This is my favorite leadership conference to attend. In this post, I will be sharing my key takeaways from each session from day 1. I hope they will add value to your life!

Today, I will be live tweeting my key takeaways during the conference. You can follow along by following me on twitter here.



Session 1: Bill Hybels

  • If you care at all about anything, then you better care about leadership.
  • Armed with enough humility, you can learn from anyone.
  • Leaders with the highest level of vision and passion have the lowest level of awareness of the spirit of the team assembled.
  • What God treasures most in this world is people.
  • Don’t make people pay for your addiction to progress, vision, and success.
  • Your culture will only be as healthy as the senior leader wants it to be
  • People join organizations, they leave managers
  • The kindest form of management is the truth
  • Leaders won’t give their best unless they are challenged to
  • The best way to develop next generation leaders is:
    • Put them in high challenge roles
    • Assign them to a short term task force
      • Success of failure most be possible
      • They have to have full authority
      • They have to work with a diverse group of people
      • There has to be pressure and deadlines
      • In the end, they have to be evaluated by senior leaders
    • Give them Real time feedback
    • Provide coaching and mentoring
    • Make sure there is pressure and deadlines
    • Classroom Classes/Seminars
  • One of the best qualities of a leader is resourcefulness! We need to be put in positions where we have to figure it out!
  • Forgiven much, worship much

Session 2: Carly Fiorina

  • Everyone has more potential that most of us realize
  • Potential can be crushed
  • Leadership unlocks potential
  • The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of others
  • There are a lot of people in corner offices who have never led a day in their lives!
  • People are not poor because they lack potential, they are poor because they haven’t had a chance to use their potential
  • Everyone has the capacity to lead!

Session 3: Jeffrey Immelt 

  • Never fear accountability
  • Your peers will ultimately determine how far you go in an organization.
  • Be around a crises early in your career. You can’t tell anything about anyone until they have been through a crisis.
  • Excuses turn everybody off
  • Overtime, you may question my decisions, but you will never question my intentions
  • You can’t guarantee outcomes, but you can guarantee process

Session 4: Susan Cain

  • Make sure everyone has a chance to speak in meetings, introverts need time!
  • Network based on service – find ways to serve people
  • Introverts and extroverts experience church in different ways, we need to remember that

Session 5: Bryan Loritts

  • God sees us as is, accepts us as is, saves us as is, but by grace, never leaves us as is!
  • You can’t have God’s heart and not have a heart for the least of these.
  • How much is enough? Enough pay? Enough profit? Enough house? Enough stuff? Give the rest away!

Session 6: Patrick Lencioni 

  • It’s dangerous to become a leader for the wrong reasons – notoriety, fame, power, money, etc.
  • Good leaders sacrifice themselves for the good of others even if they don’t get a return on their investment.
  • If you’re doing it for you, you will leave a trail of tears behind
  • The only real payoff of leadership is eternal
  • It’s dangerous to fail to embrace vulnerability
  • You can’t be too vulnerable as a leader
  • More often than not, it’s worth taking the risk to confront your leader. Most want to know the truth and will reward you for it.
  • When you don’t confront, you either brown nose or become an activist, neither are good
  • It’s dangerous to make leadership too important – Don’t make it an idol.

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