Global Leadership Summit 2015 Session 1: Bill Hybels

  • 2015-Bill-Hybels-Low-Res-Web_Color-Circle-300x300We move leadership as moving people from here to there.
  • Leadership is not about presiding over something. It’s not about pontificating. It’s about moving people or an organization somewhere.
  • Some are just starting out and you’re asking: Can I do this?
  • Some are midway and you’re asking: Can I sustain this?
  • Some are near the finish line and you’re asking: Can I take this across the finish line? Can I transition this to the next leader?
  • 10% of you are considering quitting what you’re doing right now.
  • Armed with enough humility, leaders can learn from anyone. Pastors can learn with business leaders and business leaders can learn from pastors. The old can learn from the young, the young from the old.
  • The Intangibles of Leadership
  • It’s these leadership intangibles that set leaders apart.

The first intangible: grit.

  • Why do lesser talented outperform their peers? They have grit – passion & perseverance over the long haul. It’s steely tenacity demonstrated over decades. Gritty people expect progress to be difficult.
  • The Little Engine that Could – “I think I can”
  • Abraham Lincoln had grit. He ended the scourge of slavery and brought our country together after a bloody civil war.
  • Nelson Mandela had it. Gandhi had it. The question today is: Do you have it?
  • Grit Assessment Test –
  • Can grit be developed? Yes it can be developed. The arch enemy of grit is ease. Grit development demands difficulty.
  • Task assigned to son that was difficult on purpose.
  • Most elite leaders push themselves physically. Jim Collins is a rock climber. Richard Branson is a windsurfer. Condoleeza Rice works out every morning at 5am. Why? Overcoming physical challenges is one way to grow grit.
  • They volunteered for extra work assignments and then showed steely determination in carrying it out.
  • “Don’t just deliver the required result. Over deliver and over deliver every time.” – Jack Welch
  • Hang around people who have grit because it can rub off.
  • When senior leaders over deliver, demonstrate grit, teammates notice and develop an appetite for grit.
  • Gritty organizations are unstoppable.

The second intangible: self-awareness

  • Young pastor that led churches to drowning debt. The better question: who are you trying to best? He was totally unaware that the decisions he was making everyday were tethered to his past.
  • In the midst of exciting time, young CEO quit unexpectantly. Her parents were alcoholics and would fight. She tried to keep fights from happening. When board was divided, she couldn’t handle it.
  • Blindspots in the lives of leaders. Leaders can believe they are great at something when everyone on the team knows that it is not true.
  • All of us leaders have 3.4 blindspots. You know how that’s true. When I said that, you immediately said, not me.
  • The danger with blindspots is that you have no idea that they exist.
  • I thought I was awesome under pressure. Female colleague said, “I’m not getting on the crazy train.”
  • “When you overwork, you’re not happy unless everyone around you is overworking too.”
  • I walked quickly past a guy washing a window and whistling. I thought, “He ought to be as miserable as me.”
  • Once I identified it as a blindspot, I could move it into a weakness category.
  • Do you have any blindspots?
  • Want the truth about your blindspots? Line up all your current and former spouses. They’ll let you know.
  • Knowing how your past is messing with your decisions today is crucial.
  • How do you grow in self-awareness? Growth in self-awareness requires being among others. It requires colleagues, supervisors, counselors, coaches.
  • Hearing the feedback may be very hard but realize that they are rooting for you to get better.

The third intangible: resourcefulness

  • Organizations that promote this area grow 25% faster than others.
  • David McCullough, The Wright Brothers – they studied birds for years. They moved from OH to NC. Every time they came up against a challenge, they experimented and failed and stayed at it until they figured it out.That’s just what resourceful people do.
  • So much of your success in coming years will be dependent on your ability to grow in resourcefulness.
  • How can you grow in resourcefulness?
  • Identify real problems and then assemble short-term task forces of young leaders to solve these problems.
  • How can you learn more about this? Figure it out.

The fourth intangible: self-sacrificing love

  • David has a less-than-dream team. He identifies, grows and develops his team. The soldiers begin to realize that they are not just a piece of equipment in this militia. This melts their heart toward David. They feel a great loyalty and appreciation to David.
  • David mentions drinking water from a well. His leaders risked their lives and got him the water.
  • 2 Samuel 23:16 – David refused to drink the water.
  • David had a flashback to the beginning. He realized that all his investment in these three guys has paid off.
  • I want you to love them like family. I want this to be personal. Serve them. Invest in them. Pray for them by name. What God was teaching David was that self-sacrificing love is at the core of leadership.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:8 – “Love never fails.”
  • Love changes people. Love melts people and molds people into tightly-knit communities.
  • How do you think that experience effected David’s top three guys?
  • We live in a day of celebrity leaders with narcissistic blood flowing through their veins. We live in a day where trust in organizations is low and cynicism is high.
  • Everyone in an organization takes their cues from senior leaders.
  • Gallup – do workers feel personal concern coming from their managers? In organizations where workers feel genuine love, they perform better.
  • Love never fails. Love re-orders things.
  • A theology professor challenged me and changed my life. His lecture about the beauty, power and potential of the local church rattled me. If he had waved me off with professional reserve, if he had handed me over to a neophyte intern, it would have put out the flame that was just being lit within my heart.
  • I couldn’t believe that Dr B invited to cook me lunch and spend an afternoon talking with me about my future. That was the day Willow Creek Community Church was born. For 40 years, Dr B has invested and mentored me.
  • I wish every single leader had someone like him in their life.
  • 1 Corinthians 13 with the lens of leadership.
  • Don’t hesitate a single addition moment to express genuine love and concern to your teammates. Get personal. Say the affirming or encouraging words. Doing so will humanize your workplace. This all starts with the senior most leader. The quality of your loving will set the tone for the entire organization.

The fifth intangible: sense of meaning

  • Simon Sinek, Start with Why – life can be explained with three circles: what, how, why
  • Most people understand the what and how of organizations. The disconnect is the why.
  • In their new book, Jack & Suzie Welch suggest renaming every senior leaders title to Chief Meaning Officer.
  • I want to talk with you about your white-hot why. Why you do what you do.
  • Bob Buford – what goes into the top box?
  • What is in your top box? Your why will either fuel you to higher and higher levels of inspiration or will reveal that what it’s in your top box really doesn’t matter.
  • Steve Jobs – “You want to keep selling sugar water or you want to join me and change the world.”
  • Howard Schulz – “We create a third place in the life of people.”
  • Richard Stern, Compassion – used to work for Lennox. Shifted his why from making luxury plates for rich people to putting food on the plates of starving people around the world
  • What is in your top box? What is it that moves you and drives you as a leader to get better and better?
  • My white-hot why? Fair warning: it’s a little religious.
  • Wrote God at the top. He’s perfect. Then drew a line. Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Pope Francis – “I’m a really sinful man that God has looked kindly upon.” You have a gap, but God sees your gap. He puts us in right standing with God.
  • This message transformed my life. My white-hot why is never gone be money, fame or power. My white-hot why is transformed lives.
  • My passion 40 years into this is stronger now than ever before.
  • Life is too short to live with no why, or a fuzzy why or someone else’s why.
  • Find your why and live it out with all you have.
  • Getting a white-hot why will develop grit, self-awareness, resourcefulness, self-sacrificing love.
  • Two weeks ago, my wife’s mother died. In recent days, I’ve been reminded a fresh about how much leadership matters. It matters in every industry, across all disciplines. It matters in life and it matters in death.
  • Step it up! Find your white-hot why and turn over heaven and earth to fulfill it.


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