Rethink Leadership Conference Day 2 #OC16 #RL16



Know your message enough to find the direction, but leave it open enough to let the Holy Spirit inspire new content. 

For humor, build the island, but then make sure that you make a sturdy bridge to and from the island. Satire is about an idea, but mockery is about an individual. We are not called to mockery.

Put handles on ideas so that we can carry them forward. We have enough ideas. Put a handle on them.  


Larson is the Executive Pastor for Willow Creek. 

Structure begins with Executive Team, including Hybels. Next layer includes the Ministry Directors, then Lead Pastors. 

The distinctive at the table are every person must be known and heard for what influence they bring. What is the unique role that every person can bring to the table?

How do you lead up in your role? First, common rule of no surprises. Second, for direct reports to know the passion areas of each leader. Third, keep short accounts of one another and maintain great communication. Know the area in which you want to dive deeper. 

Regarding leading across a matrix organization, every leader must ask both the professional and personal goals of each other person in the room. Know the goals of one another. How do we help each other fully become who God wants the other to be?

Regarding leading down in the organization, realize that influence flies much higher than title. 

Lead out of influence not in position. 

The greatest leadership lesson that Larson asserts is "Lead well, love well." Additionally, the value of collaboration means more to organization than anything else. Set aside your ego, and accomplish more than the sum of our parts. 

No one wants to work with a yes person. Show up, bring your perspective, and your talents to the organization. 


Great gifts will take a leader to a level that they cannot sustain without a strong soul and character. 

Soul Keeping - John Ortberg

How much hell lives in you because of your current decisions. Hell is not just a destination. A rotten soul never stays to itself. A healthy soul is magnetic. 

Isaiah 53

Do people want to be with you because the quality of your soul?

The soul is the aspect of your being the invigorates and enlivens the core of the self. Dallas Willard

The core of the self is the spirit, where God deigned us for free will. The second layer is our mind. Jesus calls us to renew our minds according to Christ. The outer layer is the body. It is like a small kingdom, the part of our world that we can truly influence and control. The spirit might be willing, but the flesh is weak. "Habits eat willpower for breakfast." John Ortberg. Only 5% of our behavior is engaged by our will. Everything else happens in the subconscious. What are your recurring thoughts and beliefs?

Is your first reaction what Jesus would think?

The outer layer from the body are relationships. 

And the role of the soul is the unifying function that glues all of the living dimensions together into a whole! The soul radiates through each of the layers of life. 

The latin definition for the word diabolical is 'fragment.' Sin gets into the layers, and then fragments life. Thus why we say our life feels like it is falling apart when sin enters into our members. Sin - especially within our blindspots - disintegrates our soul. 

We must lead ourselves, and bring a strong soul to our relationships and teams!

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?

May we love the Lord with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourself. 


CEO of Popeye's Chicken

What are the convictions that lead and guide within your leadership?

She asked the question, why do you work. 85% people did not have a clue. 

She then asked another question, why do you lead? 

Her guiding questions for leadership:

1. Where are you taking the people in your care?

2. How do you think about the people you lead?

3. How do you measure your leadership?

Key leadership words: Dare, Serve, Perform. 

Who is daring leader? A person willing to courageously lead others, while humbly creating an environment where people thrive. 

The three steps she took to turnaround Popeyes:

1. Boldly led her staff to a daring destination. 

2. Chose to love the people they lead. They day that her and her team decided to love her franchise owners, the profitability of the company completely turned around. As she stated, they are already fully invested, so they must listen to their core people. 

3. Delivered desired results. Nobody is interested in hearing about your convictions in leadership if they do not work. You cannot serve the enterprise well if you do not perform. Her team proved the point of her grand experiment. 

You have to declare out loud that we will not speak harmfully against our co-leaders. 

In this moment of choice, what am I going to choose. Leave your people - family and friends - with the things that matter.


Staff Culture

If you first want me to defend something, then you must define it. 

You have a staff culture, and it's either working for them or against them. 

3 Big Ideas for Staff Culture:

1. If you do not define culture, then it will get hijacked. Most of the staff values that people assume are carry overs from previous leadership, so they must be defined. 

2. Leads to better hires: character, competency, chemistry, and culture. More than half of the staff transitions that occur are due to poor culture fits. 

3. Create values that strengthen your weakness. Aspirational values - what you wish had. Often, our dysfunctions as a leader go down into the staff, so we must create values that strengthen our weaknesses. This requires self-awareness. 

Make staff values sticky. Create axioms. Add an icon. Make them visible in every staff environment. Vision leaks, and so do staff values. 

Question: how did you make up your staff values? Answer: What makes your culture distinct? What really matters to your staff culture? How can we make it fun and memorable?

Question: Who holds you accountable to staff values? Answer: Pete is accountable to elders, but on staff values, he is accountable to executive team. 

The staff values overlap into the church values. This may not get discussed during a message, but this most certainly get recycled among leaders and volunteers. 

One time per month, new hires at Cross Point attend a class called "Culture Shock" that drills down into one value per month. 

Staff values mitigate the risk of staff hires. More than half of all hires come from the inside, and this allows the leadership to infuse culture into the individual. This also mitigates hiring risks, as well. In order for this to work best, the leadership pipelines must be worked out and implemented.

Weekly Schedule:

Monday - Message writing

Tuesday - All Day meetings - Morn meeting is tactical. 

Wednesday - Morn message prep - afternoon meetings

Thursday - Message prep and meeting wrap up

Guard Fridays and Saturdays - no Saturday services

Total Message Prep - 20 hours per week

Message written word for word by Thursday, then reads over it Morning, Noon, and Night on Friday and Saturday. Then, on Sunday, reads over it 3 times in the morning, and then one more time after mic check. 

Preaches 40 times per year. 

Only speaks at staff lunch 10 times per year, and does not direct executive meetings. 

Key wins at the end of the week:

1. Did I faithfully communicate God's Word?

2. Does my family still love me?

3. Are we having a good time?

Only views offering and attendance one time per quarter. 


Lead Pastor of Gwinnett Church

One question of every leader: What is your leadership climate?

2 Major Leadership Emotions:

1. Fear - If you lead out of fear, then you are abusing the leadership role. Some might say that they lead out of fear in order to gain loyalty. A leader who leads out of fear leads out of insecurity. 

2. Healthy - Emotionally healthy leaders create a climate of emotional health. 

How does one become emotionally healthy? How can you ensure that you receive feedback? Great and emotionally healthy leaders ask this question: What's it like to be on the other side of me?

This question will unearth your climate. And once you understand this, you will know where you are and who you are.

You will receive 3 things:

You will get some encouraging information. 

You will get some surprising information. 

You will get your feeling hurt. 

And how you respond to these answers will determine whether or not your team will ask these questions again. If you miss this, then you will miss the climate that everyone else already knows. Do not miss this opportunity to grow. 

Ask this question of a spouse or family member.

Ask a staff member.

Ask a friend. 

Take the answers, don't be defensive. Say thank you, then go before your heavenly Father and ask God what it is like to be on the other side of me?

Psalm 62

God is an emotionally healthy leader. God can be tough and disciplinary, but God also leads us with tenderness and unfailing love. 

As you begin to show leadership potential and growth, your team will see this as a game changer. If we ask this question on a consistent basis, then we won't need to ask it much longer before your staff will freely offer it to you. 

This shows courage and vulnerability. 


How are you... really?






Are you living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow? Because the goal of leadership is not to survive it, but to thrive! The goal is to get to a place where you are more alive in Christ in every way possible!

Ministry and life is a series of un-grieved losses. One day the dam breaks. And eventually, we need to grieve the loss. There had to be a new normal. Central to healthy habits is a desire to live for tomorrow. 

Faced with significant disappointments in life and leadership, leaders often embrace 4 options:

1. Quit - the majority of people who start in ministry do not finish in ministry. Maybe your heart has run out, but your calling is not run out. 

2. Fail - disqualify yourself and make terrible decisions

3. Stay - hit auto pilot and cruise until you can't afford to do it anymore. This is a recipe for death while still being alive. 

4. Thrive - Leaders who thrive see life for what it actually is but keep their hearts fully engaged. Just because something did not work out, does not mean that you cannot trust... a relationship, an organization. Trust again, hope again, because that is the key to life and ministry. 

So, what do you need to change? 

Perhaps the big take away from this conference is apologizing and asking what's it like on the other side of me? Perhaps you need to get on your knees? Perhaps you need to knock on the door of a counselor? 

You got into ministry because you love God, but maybe you need to know that he loves you.