Sunday, August 12, 2012

Leadership Summit

On Thursday and Friday, August 9th and 10th, I had the opportunity to attend The Global Leadership Summit.  This live simulcast event was based at Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago and broadcast worldwide; I attended the hosted event at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City (my home church).  This summit brings together some of the topic leaders in business, politics, social activism, etc., so as to equip leaders to be better.

As a leader in multiple venues, I have felt the need to attend this annual summit for several years and this year I finally went.  I found multiple concepts to help make me a better classroom teacher, colleague with my faculty, department chair with my teaching team, advisor to my student council student officers, advisor to my local and district administration, etc.  Here are some of my key take-aways from each of the speakers.

Bill Hybels: Founder and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church
  • leaders must clarify the organization's vision and values, inspire and motivate others, and go the extra mile
  • leaders must humble themselves and learn from others; everyone wins when a leader gets better
  • using "Parable of the Sower" from Luke 8 in The Bible: there may only be a 25% success rate for your efforts (seed sown) and this means you just need to "plant more seed" in order to "grow a forest"
  • most important asset of a leader isn't "time", but rather energy and ability to energize others
  • a leader's role is not to "preside" or "pontificate" but to build a case that "here" is not good enough and that "there" is better and then to help motivate a team to move from the here to the there
Condoleezza Rice: Former U.S. Secretary of State
  • "freedom" doesn't equal "democracy"; a mature democracy requires more than just institutionalization of "rights" or defining of "freedoms"--must include a respect for minorities so that the strong don't exploit the weak
  • every life is worthy: in a democracy there are no permanent stations in life, we are not confined to the life into which we were born, we have an obligation to provide a situation where everyone has an opportunity for greatness
  • although many things a government can give it can't give compassion--this must come from people who believe that every life is worthy
  • best way to show compassion is to provide an individual with the opportunity to transform his/her future...with an education; education isn't about where you come from but where you're going
  • a great leader is an irrepressible optimist; keep perspective on what your circumstances truly are
  • today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same
Jim Collins: Nationally acclaimed Thinker and Author (Good to Great)
  • Why do some leaders prevail and others fail in the midst of similar difficult circumstances? used example of 2 competing expeditions to South Pole in 1911
  • the "X Factor" of great leadership is humility combined with will
  • we need "fanatic discipline" (manage well in the good times so as to help in the bad times), "empirical creativity" (test and validate new ideas before jumping head first into their use), and "productive paranoia" (the only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you can survive)
  • greatness is not a matter of circumstance but a matter of choice and discipline (what do you do with the those events which you couldn't predict, didn't cause, and yet had a significant consequence??)
  • an organization is not truly great unless it can be great without you: true test of your leadership is that the organization successfully survives without you
Marc Kielburger: Co-Founder of "Free the Children" and Co-CEO of "Me to We"
  • in middle-school co-founded (with brother Craig) international social activism organization; inspired by story of Pakistani boy forced into slavery in a rug factory...escaped and spoke out about former owners...tracked down and murdered by former owners; organization builds schools, drills water wells and provides micro-loans
  • #1 reason why sub-Saharan African girls don't attend schools is because they have to help carry water jugs for family and village
  • using your gift/talent to draw attention to a significant issue which tugs your heart can help build a better world ( gift + issue = better world)
  • today = 1 billion people aged 12 to 16 with 9 out of 10 of them living in the developing world
  • only our action can solidify our understanding: "We can do no great things, but we can do small things with great love"--Mother Teresa
Sheryl WuDunn: Pulitzer Prize winning Author, co-author of Half the Sky
  • primary moral challenge of 21st Century is gender inequality (19th Century = slavery; 20th Century = totalitarianism)
  • when resources are scare females tend to go without (girls under 5 years have 50% greater mortality rates than boys)
  • education and jobs for girls will help improve the overall world economic situation (case study of Pakistan v. Bangladesh)
  • perspective: estimated that 70,000 to 80,000 Africans were brought to Western Hemisphere as part of slave trade in 1770s-80s and yet THIS YEAR about 800,000 women and children will be transported across a national border as part of the international sex trade
  • contributing to something larger than yourself helps bring happiness and happy people tend to live longer
Craig Groeschel: Founder and Senior Pastor of
  • Message to older generation: 1) don't resent, fear, or judge the next generation--believe in them because they need you, 2) God values maturity--if you're not dead you're not done leading, 3) don't delegate tasks to create followers but delegate authority so you can create leaders, 4) embrace the season of life you are in--authenticity trumps "cool" with the younger generation
  • Message to new generation: 1) don't ignore those with experience because you need them, 2) "entitled" is the most common "e" word among younger people--you've received too many trophies for just participating rather than excelling, 3) tend to over estimate what you can do in the short run and yet grossly under estimate what you can do in a lifetime, 4) showing public honor to older leaders produces private influence with them--dishonor tears down and devalues--respect is something that might be earned but honor should be automatically given, 5) if you ever want to be "over" then you first need to be "under" with integrity, 6) tend to prefer a calling to a job and prefer making a difference to making a pay check
  • For generations to work together if must be planned and intentional, if cannot be by accident
Patrick Lencioni: Founder and President of The Table Group
  • organization health is the key way to maximize your potential for success
  • must be smart (strategies, marketing, finances, technology) but this is only 1/2 of the success equation but typically gets 98% of the focus in an organization
  • must be healthy (minimal politics and confusion, high morale and productivity, low turnover)
  • Six imperative questions to ask yourself:
    • Why do we exist? core purpose (might have nothing to do with what they do/sell...i.e. Mary Kay Cosmetics is to economically empower women, not to sell make-up)
    • How do we behave? values statement, actual values and not the ones you aspire to, the values you are willing to get punished for not pursue, to violate the value is to sell your soul (i.e. Southwest Airlines has a company value to maintain a sense of humor, they'd rather lose a customer than to violate this principle)
    • What do we actually do?
    • How will we succeed? what are the strategies to get "there"?
    • What is the most important thing to do right now?
    • Who is responsible for doing what?
William Ury: Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of Harvard University's Program on Negotiation
  • negotiating is a constant process throughout a daily routines and is, thus, central to our decision making
  • conflict is not innately bad; it's how we constructively deal with conflict that is key
  • one of the greatest powers in negotiating is the power NOT to react
  • Focus on interests and not on positions; two examples:
    • If two people both want the last orange the best solution might NOT be to simply cut the orange in half. What if one wanted the orange for the peel/zest so as to bake a cake and the other wanted to eat the fruit inside? Cutting in half might result in the baker throwing away half the fruit and the eater throwing away half the peel.
    • In the 1970s Egypt and Israel each wanted the Sinai Peninsula.  Simply drawing a line down the middle was not acceptable to either side.  Egypt linked the SP to its long standing history and sovereignty; Israel linked the SP to security from a belligerent neighbor.  Solution from Camp David Accords, based on each country's interest and not their position of "we want it all" lead to returning the SP to Egypt for historical sovereignty issues but demilitarizing it for Israel's security concerns.
Pranitha Timothy: Director of Aftercare in the Chennai, India office of International Justice Mission
  • Office seeks to locate, rescue, and provide long-term aftercare for those impacted by forced "contract" bonded slavery
  • a benign brain tumor left her mute for 12 years, now has a voice
  • even the "feeble" can become "powerful" leaders
  • no matter what your sphere of influence, you are called to serve in some capacity
  • special note: my youngest sister, Becki, spent a year working in Chennai with IJM and worked with Pranitha; my mother and I were able to meet Pranitha when we visited Chennai in June 2009
Mario Vega: Senior Pastor at Mision Cristiana Elim in San Salvador, El Salvador
  • our actions during our defining moments can reveal our internal character
  • personality, talent, charisma, skills are not enough for effective leadership; integrity and character are far more important
John Ortberg: Senior Pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and Author
  • presentation on "A Leader of Unimaginable Influence"; introduction to his new book titled Who is this Man? regarding the global legacy and impact of Jesus upon human life and culture

Geoffrey Canada: President and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone
  • uses the word "contamination" to describe Harlem before his work began: a zone of hopelessness and despair which was losing millions of kids
  • must "recontaminate" the neighborhood with positive messages and environments; change the culture
  • too often the goal of U.S. education has been the question "What is the shortest period of time and the smallest among of money for us to engage a student?"
  • we often need to provide resources beyond just "education" to help engage children, such as food and medical care...this is important far beyond the legitimate way it can help education, it's just the "decent thing to do"
  • we must commit to trying again when we fail; learn from the failure and fix what needs to be fixed so as to try again
  • in education we sometimes forget who we are working for; it's not for the staff it's for the kids!--don't fear to demand a certain level of excellence from your staff and then hold them accountable; making staffing changes when needed
  • we as the U.S. know how to accomplish what we truly set our minds to do (we just put a robot on Mars)--we just haven't truly committed our collective minds to the goal of educational reform in this country; we don't have time to wait--the time for change is NOW
If you actually took the time to read through all of this then I applaud you!!! The summit was two long days, but totally worth my time.  As you can see, I did get LOADS out of it and I hope you have as well from my notes.

What thoughts, comments, or questions do you have? FEEL FREE to leave them here for others to contemplate as well.

1 comment:

  1. David, this must have been a very interesting experience, especially in light of our nation's struggle to elect the right leader. I think my favorite quotes are, "our actions during our defining moments can reveal our internal character AND
    personality, talent, charisma, skills are not enough for effective leadership; integrity and character are far more important"