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Leadership Summit 2017: Bill Hybels

2017_bill_hybels

If you missed the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit this year, no worries I’ve got you covered. I’ll be posting my notes and thoughts from each presenter over the next couple of days.

If you’re unfamiliar with Leadership Summit, more than 300,000 leaders participated in this world-class experience designed to help people to grow in their leadership capacity and effectiveness. Global Leadership Summit is a two-day event telecast LIVE in HD from Willow’s campus near Chicago every August to more than 600 locations in 128 countries and 60 languages.

Willow Creek Community Church Founder and Senior Pastor Bill Hybels opened the Summit addressing The Challenge of Leading an Organization in an Era of Divisiveness and Disrespect. The following are leadership quotes and lessons from this incredible session.

  • Armed with enough humility anyone can learn from anyone
  • Who do you owe the most for calling leadership out in you in your early years? Who saw potential in you before anyone else did? Who gave you an opportunity before anyone else did? Who kept saying to you, “You can handle this, you can figure this out, I know you can.”
  • Leaders must plant leadership seeds in the lives of younger people that they see leadership in.
  • We are where we are in our leadership journey today because someone gave us an opportunity.
  • Sometime in the next 7 days: reflect on who those leaders were in your early years and express your gratitude to them

The challenge of leading an organization in an era of divisiveness and disrespect

  • Where is disrespect and divisiveness taking us?
  • 95% of the US population believe we have an incivility issue
  • We of faith do not get to choose who we respect

10 Rules of respect

  1. Leaders must set the example of how to differ with others without demonizing them
  2. Leaders must demonstrate how to have spirited conversations without drawing blood
  3. Leaders must not interrupt others who are talking and not dominate the conversation
  4. Leaders must set the example of limiting their volume and refusing to use “incendiary” or “belittling” words that guarantee to derail a discussion
  5. Leaders must set the example of being courteous in word and deed
  6. Leaders must never stereotype others
  7. Leaders must form opinions carefully and stay open minded if better information comes along
  8. Leaders must set the example of showing up when they say they are going to show up and doing what they say they are going to do.
  9. Leaders must set “Rules of Respect” for everyone in the organization and enforce them relentlessly
  10. So…looks like I missed one…sorry readers!
  • Tolerance is easy and requires little of us…we must move into uncomfortable territory and seek to understand each other
  • Those we lead are dying for us to challenge them and call the best out of them
  • Succession:
    • Who is going to make the decision? Is it the Sr. Leader or the Board or someone else?
    • When will it happen? Getting to clarity on this will drive the whole process.
    • How will it be led? Board going to run it, Sr. Pastor?
    • Planning: transition document is built
    • Internal: Research shows that internal successors have a much higher success rate
    • External: global search
    • Transition: credential the successor and set them up to win
  • Succession Learnings:
    • Having a well thought through road map is essential,
    • Keep the journey bathed in prayer and keep personalities and politics out of it
    • Our process has probably been too long (if a succession plan is long and complicated enough it will motivate any leader to want to move on)
    • When it goes too long it takes a toll on the vision of the organization
    • We underestimated the emotional toll it would take on the Sr. Leaders (asking the SLT to live in limbo is a huge risk)
    • We made 1 process mistake that caused unnecessary pain. The board didn’t do a regular check in with Bill during their vetting process.
  • God is an equal opportunity storywriter
  • Is it possible that God is writing an ending to your story and season so He can lead you to something new or different?
  • Endings matter too
  • Challenges:
    • Spend 15 minutes each morning in a chair you love to read and reflect on your life. Are you getting busier or better as a leader? Don’t squeeze all of the reflection time out of your life.
    • Make this year the year of the grander vision. Don’t just improve your product but make a difference in your community. At a certain point mere financial success should bore you.
    • Measure the health of your organizations culture and be committed to improving it. Your culture will only be as healthy as the top leader wants it to be.
    • Do you have a personal betterment plan for your leadership in the coming year?
    • Are you leading on the home front as well as you’re leading at work?

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