Leadership Summit 2017: Andy Stanley


Andy Stanley founded North Point Ministries (NPM) more than 20 years ago. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe, collectively serving nearly 70,000 people weekly. Recently, Outreach Magazine identified Stanley as one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Pastors in America.” The author of more than 20 books, he is passionate about serving both church and organizational leaders.

  • If we had it to do all over again what would we do all over again?
  • What really worked?
  • We did an autopsy on our success.
  • Usually as leaders we only critique our failures. But if all you focus on is your failures you may never learn to repeat success.
  • If you don’t know why things are going well, then when things go bad you won’t know how to help things start going well “again
  • Resource: “Lessons from the first 20 years” – podcast from the Andy Stanley podcast
  • Why did our organization grow so fast? Because we’re not growing that fast anymore.
  • We had a uniquely better product
  • Nobody was doing church the way we were doing church in the Southeast US
  • If you have the only hot dog stand in town your hot dogs don’t have to be that good
  • We weren’t the best at what we did, a lot of people are doing church, it wasn’t a new category. We were doing something unique in our category.
  • Unique is different than one of a kind
  • Unique can be bad too and unique won’t necessarily give you momentum
  • Better means it does what it’s designed to do better than the competition
  • We created an engaging church experience for the whole family especially for men
  • We aren’t unique anymore which means we are not uniquely better anymore
  • Somebody somewhere in your industry is messing with the rules to the prevailing model
  • Every industry has a prevailing model so every industry has a set of specific assumptions
  • Which means every industry is stuck in a certain manner
  • Discovering uniquely better is virtually impossible
  • Uniquely better is often the byproduct of circumstances that successful organizations are trying to avoid
  • Uniquely better is often so unique that established organizations can’t imagine that as being better
  • Our best hope and our responsibility as leaders is to create organizational cultures positioned to recognize rather than resist “uniquely better”

#1 Be a student not a critic

  • I will never criticize something I don’t understand
  • We naturally resist things that we don’t understand or we can’t control
  • As a leader you must overcome that tendency
  • The moment you start criticizing you stop learning and when you stop learning you stop leading and when you stop leading the leaders in your organization will leave
  • “The next generation product and idea almost never comes from the previous generation” AL Reis, Focus

#2 You have to keep your eyes and mind wide open

  • Listen to outsider, listen to outsiders, listen to outsiders, listen to outsiders
  • Outsiders aren’t bound by our assumptions
  • Closeminded leaders, close minds
  • You can’t see a closed mind in the mirror
  • How do you respond to staff who make suggestions based on what they’ve observed in other organizations?
  • When was the last time the organizations embraced a big idea that wasn’t your idea?
  • When is the last time you weren’t sure about an initiative but you gave the go ahead anyway?
  • “We must pay attention to the frontiers of our ignorance” Sam Harris
  • Being the leader and leading are entirely two different things.

#3 Replace How? with Wow!

  • “But how?” Kills ideas.
  • Wow ideas to life, don’t how them to death
  • We fuel innovation or shut it down by our response
  • Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about
  • The world will put enough “hows” in front of our children…let’s just be “wow” parents.
  • Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do but someone you raise

#4 Ask the uniquely better questions

  • Is this unique?
  • What would make this unique?
  • Is it better?
  • Is it better…really?
  • If you’re constantly thinking “uniquely better” then you will see it when it comes along

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Bryan Stevenson


Bryan Stevenson, a highly acclaimed activist and lawyer, has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned through his leadership of the Equal Justice Initiative. he has successfully argued several cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and his TED Talk has more than three million views. The best-selling author of Just Mercy, Stevenson was named to Fortune’s “2016 World’s Greatest Leaders” list.

  • America is the country with the highest rate of incarceration in the world
  • Women going to prison has increased by 646% in the last 20 years
  • 1-in-3 black children will spend time in jail

#1 To change the world you have to get close to the people we are trying change

  • We have to get close to the problem
  • You can’t lead from a distance
  • It is within that proximity where you figure problems out
  • Leadership requires that the people we are leading feel like we are with them
  • Who is responsible for poverty and tragedy? We are because we have removed ourselves from the proximity of the problems.
  • We can’t solve problems from a distance and the solutions don’t come until we get close to the problem

#2 We have to change the narratives that sustain the policies

  • The great evil of American Slavery was not slavery, it was the narrative of racial inequality
  • True narrative change can lead to freedom
  • We have to understand the narratives that sustain the problems that we see

#3 We can’t be effective unless we stay hopeful

  • Hopelessness is the enemy of justice and leadership
  • Hope gets you to stand up with other people say sit down
  • You’re either hopeful or you’re a part of the problem
  • You’re either a hopeful leader or you’re not leading
  • Stop talking about the things you have done and start talking about the things you’re going to do
  • It takes courage to stay hopeful in the face of daunting situations

#4 Be willing to do uncomfortable things

  • As humans we are biologically, mentally, and sociologically conditioned to be comfortable
  • Effective leadership only happens when great leaders are willing to do uncomfortable things
  • Sometimes you have to position yourself in uncomfortable situations to do significant things
  • Why do we want to kill all the broken people?
  • It is in brokenness that we really learn what it means to lead because in brokenness we begin to understand grace
  • Each of us is better than the worse thing we’ve ever done
  • The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it is justice
  • Our character as a leader cannot be measured by how we treat the rich and the powerful but how we treat the poor and neglected
  • Grades, income, position, etc. are not a measure of your capacity to lead

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Fredrik Haren


Fredrik Haren is a business creativity expert who has authored nine books, including The idea Book – credited as on of “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.” He is a global speaker who has been invited to speak to leaders in more than 60 countries on six continents on the importance of creativity in solving problems. Recognizing how challenging this is, Haren provides practical steps to help individuals and organizations become more creative.

  • Is creativity important in your job? 98% of people think they it is
  • Do you think you are creative? 45% people think they are
  • Do you think your company is doing enough to develop creativity in its employees? 2% of people think it is
  • There is no correlation between creative confidence and actual creativity
  • Ideas = one person takes 2 formerly known things and combines them in a new way
  • We cannot create out of nothing
  • Creativity = a person takes knowledge + information and combining them in a new way
  • We spend a lot of time talking about knowledge and information but not the “+”
  • The average business/management book only sells 3,000 copies
  • Creativity has never been more important than now…the speed of innovation is getting faster and we need to keep up
  • Idea-perception: the ability to see that the world is changing
  • The book is not dead because of the ebook. People used to read books on the bus, on the plane, on vacation. Where do people read books now?
  • We didn’t go from book to ebook, we went from book to social and digital media (mobile devices)
  • The problem: Human beings are not very good at change
  • Just because a man says something very confident doesn’t mean he’s right it just means he’s confident
  • The people you are leading are stuck doing things the way they do because they’re doing it the way they were told to do it
  • As leaders your job is to make your people more creative
  • You don’t do it by talking about creativity or teaching creativity, you do it by doing creative things as a leader…they are inspired to be creative
  • What is the most creative thing you can do as a leader?
  • We are never closer to God than when we have a really, really, good idea.

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Marcus Lemonis


With many ventures on his resume, including the hit TV show, The Profit, Marcus Lemonis has invested$40 million of his own money into helping small businesses. Additionally, he is the CEO of America’s #1 source for RV’s and the largest organization of R owners in the world. Lemonis lends his expertise to other entrepreneurs using his evaluation system of three keys for business health and success; people, process and product.

  • The television show is just a mechanism for me to deliver a message
  • I don’t care much about money
  • My mom was my mentor
  • Leadership is about reinventing yourself
  • Business is about vulnerability
  • Business and life are about building connections
  • Your ability to experience success is directly connected to ability your to be vulnerable
  • When you unlock someone’s heart and built trust you can navigate anything together
  • Vulnerability is very difficult to unleash
  • Is there anybody that works with you or for you that you wish didn’t? If there is then shame on you.
  • I see myself as a leader regardless if it’s with business, friends, or family.
  • It’s your duty to make sure everyone who works for you is successful
  • The best leaders are colorblind and even aptitude blind
  • What is your purpose and what is your role in that purpose?
  • I’ve always felt like an underdog, how do I take what I have and go find other people who are just like me?
  • I made it my mission to pick people like me and help them, not just with words or money but with my hands
  • I got involved in helping small businesses. It was not the greatest investment on paper but it was the greatest investment for me.
  • Leadership means taking a chance on yourself first and then making moves that aren’t about you.

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2017: Sheryl Sandberg


Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer at Facebook, overseeing the company’s business operations. Prior to Facebook, she was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department. Sandberg is the best-selling author of Lean In. Her 2017 release, Option B, is an inspiring and practical book about finding resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

  • I didn’t define myself as a leader for a long time…I was called bossy, I was told I was too aggressive…most young girls aren’t told to think of themselves as leaders
  • What we see ourselves becoming we often become, what we can’t see we can’t become
  • I wanted to work in tech because I believed tech could change the world.
  • I loved the mission of Google…
  • When you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship you don’t ask what seat, you just jump on
  • “Hire big” = Hire people with unbelievable skills and hire people you’re going to need even if you don’t need them yet
  • I would take someone with skills over experience
  • If people are willing to take the job they will make the job what they want it to be
  • It’s not fair to fire people without feedback, but move quickly if it’s the wrong job for them or they break the rules
  • Most organizations that fail, fail because of reasons everyone knows but no one says
  • Focus on results not on face time
  • It’s easy to say people are trying hard…the problem is you’re rewarding people for effort not results. Reward people for results not effort.
  • We try to make hero’s of effort, execution and failure, don’t sweep failure under the rug…learn from it
  • Women have 5% of fortune 500 jobs, women have less than 25% of congress roles and run only 11 countries
  • No one does anything alone…you need support

3 P’s – reasons why people don’t get through grief

  • Personalization: it’s all my fault
  • Pervasiveness: all areas of my life are wrong, everything is terrible
  • Permanence: it doesn’t feel like it will go away
  • Resilience = “our ability to overcome hardship and it is a muscle and we can build it”
  • Joy is something we have to look for
  • Post traumatic growth syndrome: growth that comes as a result of difficulty in our lives
  • Happiness is how we spend our days…it’s the small things
  • Word correlations…
    • Vision: Mark Z. I work with a visionary
    • Values: family
    • Leadership Development: Investment…we invest in people
  • Leaders get better by getting real feedback and getting people to tell you the truth
  • Who’s responsible for leadership development? It’s both. The institution needs to support it and individuals need to chase it.

Posted in Leadership