The Most Important Talk I Heard at the Leadership Summit

I can sum up Bill Hybels' talk at the Global Leadership Summit in 2 words: Longevity Wins.

Hybels offered the first talk at the Summit, and even if I paid the full price just to hear his talk, it would have been worth it. 

I want to share with you the most important axiom that I heard him say, along with my notes for you to read.

He stated, "Great leadership by definition is relentlessly developmental." I can hear in his phrase both a call to urgency for personal growth, as well as a long-term, long-haul approach in how one implements her or his call to leadership. For one to be relentlessly developmental, that person must consistently and constantly 'keep after it,' 'keep reading,' 'keep learning.'

According to Hybels, there is an immediate need for you to assume your God-given role to lead within your context. But what makes a leader great is her willingness to stick it out for the long-haul - through all of the ups and downs.

Yes, you need to get started, but you need to stay in the game!

I have come across leaders who did not seem to externally exhibit much leadership ability one-on-one, but in the eyes of their community, they were the obvious leader in that context. Why? Because that person had invested decades into the lives of the people who live in that community. In a very real way, those kinds of leaders lay down their lives for the people over which they lead. 

Below, see my notes from Hybels' talk, and may you embrace and fulfill your God-given call to lead where you are!

Don’t be so addicted to vision achievement that the people around you feel like instruments.

5 Key Commitments Willow Church Made to Develop Leaders Further:

1. Use an outside consultation firm to find the problems. Sometimes, we are blinded to what happens internally.

2. The leadership must own the turn around. “Your culture will only ever be as healthy as the senior leader wants it to be.”

3. Get real serious about training everyone on staff who manages people. People should join an organization and leave as an equipped leader of others. Every person must love and lead well.

4. Raise the level of candor on performance reviews. Am I making a contribution and adding value in any way? The kindest form of management is the truth. Start. Stop. Continue. 3 M’s: Move Ahead, Modify the Plan, Motivate the People.

5. A ruthless commitment to resolve relational conflict, regardless of how scary it may seem. What if we looked at conflict as an opportunity to strengthen a relationship rather than a precursor to relational ruin.

Reconcile - see book on relational health.

Only 54% of church employees are engaged in their work.

Only 30% are excited about their work in corporate world.

15% are excited about their work in international business.

Why such low satisfaction?

Great leadership by definition is relentlessly developmental. A mature, seasoned leader may grow a beginning, inexperienced leader by:

- Placing him or her in high challenge roles

- Creating short term task forces for that person to test his or her leadership ability

- Providing real time feedback

- Providing coaching and mentoring

- Providing classroom and seminars

Assigning people to short term task forces allows a mature leader to test drive an emerging leader's potential before putting them in the role. The criteria for a short term task force should include for the young leader:

1. Both success or failure must be possible

2. Take full charge

3. Work with wide variety of people

4. Complete by a deadline

5. Evaluated by senior leader

Resourcefulness is the most essential weapon in a leaders arsenal. There is no road map for leaders, so they must become experts in resourcefulness.

Will a leader demonstrate creativity, ingenuity, and quite simply, figure it out?

When was the last time that I assigned a task force to an emerging leader to determine their resourcefulness?

Find and develop leaders with a legacy mindset.

Legacy leaders are the ones who will pay the price to:

- change culture

- ride out the rough patches

- address the long-term financial viability of an organization

Hirelings vs. Legacy Leaders

Hirelings are fueled by advancement and personal achievement.

Legacy leaders are fueled by giving their life to a cause bigger than themselves.

Legacy leaders possess a mindset that one who is forgiven much, worships much.

Legacy Leaders Need Endurance - as satisfying as legacy making is, it does come with a price. The grander the vision, the higher the price tag. Jesus paid the highest price for the grandest vision. Grand visions get complicated and costly. Legacy leaders must create lasting endurance strategies.

QUESTION: Are you in your current position as a hireling or a legacy leader?