Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit Day 1 Recap

I get to go to the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit this year at a Simulcast site at Orchard Hill Church. I’ve watched lessons from previous summit’s, but never actually attended the event. Day 1 was amazing! I thought I’d share some of my highlights from each session in day 1! Day 2 is today and I could not be more excited! Here’s my recap:

Session 1: Opening Session Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels is incredible! His sessions are always so practical and you always get challenged. He asked leaders 5 vital leadership questions in his session. Here are some of my highlights:

  • When the leader stops learning they should stop leading
  • Leadership matters… When a leader gets better… Everybody wins!
  • Every leader can get better if they want to
  • 1.)What is your current leadership challenge level at work??
    • Appropriately Challenged – to do lists… Get stuff done… Accomplished
    • Under Challenged – watch the clock.. Wait to work to be done. Go home and unfulfilled with what you are doing.
    • Dangerously over challenged – look at list and freak out! The list gets lingers! Not present with family because you have so much going on!
  • People Do their best work when they are a little over appropriately challenged!
  • If your under challenged… Step it up and add challenges to your life! If you aren’t challenged you will atrophy!
  • If you are dangerously challenged – you’re in trouble! You will break down in body mind and spirit!
  • Have The discipline of replenishment! Your replenishment bucket has holes in it… You can’t take enough vacations etc.
  • Stress makes your performance go up initially but if you are stressed over a long period of time… You’ll burn out!
  • The line exercise! If we had a 50% revenue drop and we had to get rid of people… Who would you say goodbye to first? List them in order.
  • People at the end of the line… Are they carrying their weight? Are the working on the right issues? Are they challenged? Do they have issues tha I am just not looking at? Am I avoiding tough conversations? It brings clarity to these questions!
  • Our future is dependent on the people we attract… Fantastic people to build a fantastic future for a fantastic God!
  • We have to deal with bad attitudes as soon as the attitude reveals itself! Attitude issues need to be resolved in 30 days!
  • Under performers need to be dealt with as soon as possible… Give them 3 months! The reasons are they under perform can be complicated.
  • Toughest Leadership Call: When the growth of the organization outgrows the person that was in the position before. It requires someone with new skills and talents.
    • Has the organization outgrown your capacity to lead?
    • It always leads to heartbreak on all sides… Give 6-12 months… Nobody did anything wrong… Go to another role… Break backsides to help them and give them severance!
    • Tough to deal with, deal with we must!
  • If you don’t deal with challenging people, you discourage and demotivate your best people!
  • Challenging people deep down are not happy people!
  • The best Christian Workplace…consulting company!
  • Are you naming facing and dealing with the problems that exist in your organization!
  • Nothing rocks forever…ideas have life cycles
  • Part of your job as a leader is to look at problems, call it what it is, and deal with it!
  • 4.) when is the last time you reexamined the core of what your organization is all about?
    • Great leaders ask senior people to start all over again… What business are we in? What do we do. Could we put our vision and core on a t-shirt?
  • Churches are in the life transformation business!
  • 5.) have you had your leadership bell rung recently? Any book, talk, experience, challenge rocked your world lately?
  • Leaders rarely learn anything new without having their world rocked!
  • When you are sick of staying stuck… You do whatever it takes to go to another level! Create action! Sell your house! Work another job!
  • You God given job as a leader is to move an organization from here to there…however long it take whatever it takes God is eager and willing to help you! If you don’t believe that anymore… Step aside!
  • Summits are supposed to ring leaders bells!
  • How you finish is how you will always be remembered!
  • Don’t let any year be average… Make it awesome!
  • Leaders call people to decisions!

Session 2: Action Trumps Everything by Len Schlesinger

Len was great! I never heard him before. His bottom line: Anyone can be an entrepreneur. Just go do something! Highlights:

  • Believe in the future by creating it first!
  • Train leaders to make contributions to society!
  • 1st generation creates 2nd generation enjoys 3rd generation destroys!
  • Entrepreneurship is a discipline to be learned!
  • We are all entrepreneurs, just too few of us practice it.
  • If you can’t predict the future… Create it!
  • All that is left to do is to Act!
  • Start with things you care about! What do you like to do?
  • Entrepreneurs are always doing what they want to do to get them what they want!
  • Don’t worry about what you want to do, just worry about what you want to do next!
  • Failure means to try again with experience!
  • When you fail, you probably just learned something that nobody else knows!
  • Know what you want & Start with the means you have at hand
  • Take steps based on your means and what you want to pay to play
  • Action Trumping everything… You get more times at bat!

Session 3: Stand Tall by Cory Booker

I never heard of Cory before this talk. He is the mayor of Newark, NJ. This guy was awesome! I’d vote for him for president! I will definitely be following this guy to see what he is doing around the world to make a difference. I’d encourage you to check him out! Highlights:


  • Everyone is born an original but most die copies – Abraham Lincoln
  • Or lives are built on millions of people’s sacrifices in the past…
  • Good speakers borrow, great speakers steal!
  • In order to help… We need to see hope, optimism, and what could be in the worst situations… In the worst neighborhoods, etc.
  • Te only way to make change in this world is to start with oneself… If it’s to be, it’s up to me!
  • How do you live and give…. How you live speaks so loudly, I ant hear what you say!
  • You can make any situation positive… Attitude!


Session 4: Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times by Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil

Session 5: Poke the Box by Seth Godin

I love Seth Godin. If you don’t read his blog and books, you’re missing out! His talk was entertaining and brilliant. Here are my highlights:

  • Every project is a two sided coin, success and failure
  • It’s impossible to do art and always succeed. You’ll fail, get made fun of, offend people, etc.
  • No one has ever done any exciting work on their blackberries, facebook, iphones, etc.
  • Just because the tide is out, doesn’t mean the ocean has less water in it
  • Give Gifts, Not Favors
  • Do Something worth talking about
  • The industrial revolution is dead! We’re in a new revolution… an age of tribes and we need you to lead us!
  • Give away your art as often as you can!
  • If someone asks you how your day is and you say, “fine” you are living a boring life.

Session 6: Audacious Faith by Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick was awesome! I think he got everyone watching fired up to believe God to do the impossible in and through them. It was one of my favorite sessions. Highlights:

  • Steven does not know what cannot be done. – Craig Groeschel (Let’s all be like this)
  • Be dumb enough to believe God can do anything!
  • God doesn’t call us to survive the world, He calls us to change it
  • 2 Kings 3:9-20
  • We can learn all we want, but we all come to places where only God can make it rain
  • You can’t expect God’s blessing on your work if you don’t do things God’s way!
  • If all you have is good ideas, you’re a day dreamer. It takes audacious faith to act and make it happen.
  • If the vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, it’s probably insulting to God
  • If you want to see the land filled with water, dig some ditches!
  • God is not done with you yet!
  • We are insecure because we compare our behind the scenes work with other people’s highlight reels
  • Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening, but God is working behind the scenes





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