Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2013 Live Blog (Thursday) #wcagls

4:15 PM CDT
Session 4b: Unscripted Leadership
Mark Burnett

Interview by Bill Hybels
Started as a T-shirt seller on the beach. In Europe, if you don’t speak right or go to the right school, you don’t get options. That’s not the case in the US. A businessman told me to start with the lowest cost

When we’re pitching shows, all I hear is N-O “Next Opportunity.” You are going to get “No”s, you got to keep going. The reason we did The Bible, was the calling from God. When God/Jesus, they’re the same to me, when He calls, you have to get your ass off the couch and actually do something.

Bill is the first pastor I met all over the country who had never heard of The Voice.

In the secular media, we were feeling attacked. I was explaining it to Bill. He didn’t say much. He’s got a great poker face. He watched an episode and said, “I’m going to help. Stop playing defensively and start playing offensively. Be offensive about The Bible. Stop apologizing for it!”

The success of The Bible series has nothing to do with us. It is the Holy Spirit. We prayed so hard. We were given courage by church and church leaders. This is a time in history when people need hope. The Bible Series was the right series, right message, right time.

Choose your companions before you choose your road. First thing in the morning, you have a tub full of water. When you leave for work, you pull the plug. On a good day, you should see the last drop go down when you go to sleep. When dealing with the wrong people and unresolved emotional conflicts, you drain your energy. Your tub is emptied too quickly.

There’s a lot of money at risk in television. The creative person doesn’t need to know how much the cameras cost, etc. but they have a sense of responsibility for that. Hire great people and let them do their job. How insulting is it to hire great people then tell them what to do? Empower them. By the way, get out of their way a bit.

If someone came to me and pitched a show without a budget and schedule, I would be thinking I hired an insane person and have to fire them tomorrow. You have to be responsible. This has happened. I do not want to go and pitch a show, great story with great storytellers, we have to know how much it’s going to cost and when it’s going to be on the air. The Bible, people in Hollywood wanted to say we pretended it was low budget. It was 20% of Game of Thrones, it looks as good – maybe better – it’s more important (laughs). The easiest thing to do is waste money, to go over budget. We shot in Morroco. If we shot in the US, it would have been $100 million or $120 million. You know, making Christian movies doesn’t give you permission to make a crappy movie. I’m so happy that the community of Christian filmmakers can make the best quality movies while telling the story of love.

Clips from The Bible with Mary Did You Know by Celo Green

Hybels – Figure out a way to leverage what you’re good at with the skills and talents God has given you and leverage it for Him.

3:15 PM CDT
Session 4a: Love Takes Action
Bob Goff

(started notes at 3:45 due to a great conversation I couldn’t pass up with a friend I don’t see enough)
From Twitter:
Like a Polaroid photo, leaders develop over time.

Don’t live someone else’s calling. It will come off like a bad Elvis impersonation. What are you made to do?! Do a lot of THAT! and, when you do THAT, it changes everything!

God wants to blow your minds. He took the foolish things of the world to shame the wise so that no one can boast.

Every Thursday I quit something. If you make some margin, Jesus will chuck terrific things in there.

Charlie, a young boy left for dead in Kenya gets an invite to the Oval Office. Why does God do that? To blow our minds.

Went to the prison to visit the man who tried to kill Charlie. He talked about being sorry for what he had done. He talked about witchcraft. He was on one knee and said he knew he was going to die in there and he knew he needed forgiveness. He ended up accepting Christ. Really? He got to choose that? Now I visit him every 60 days and he is reading scripture. He preached the Gospel to thousands of dying men in prison. And he got it wrong. The only thing he got right was Jesus. He said he knows he going to die in prison thanks to me, but he forgives me. He doesn’t get to forgive me, right? Isn’t it great that God’s ability to forgive isn’t based on our ability to get it?

Nothing will ever, ever, ever, ever… like a Taylor Swift song…. ever, ever, EVER separate us from the love of God.
2:15 PM CDT
Session 3b: Right Title… Wrong Kingdom
Chris Brown

I never saw the story of Goliath from the perspective of the king – Saul. Over a month, Saul was being called out by the enemy every day. His leadership is paralyzed and his army is compromized. He knew it and so did his men.

The idea of sending a boy out to the battle seemed like a good idea, because anyone’s neck seems better than yours. When David defeated Goliath, Saul did what any manager would do, “I hired him! I saw something in him and hired him.”

Saul could not celebrate the achievments of others when their achievements began to overshadow his.

Is this about your title or His? Is it about building your kingdom or is it about His?

Pharoah elevated Joseph. A pagan leader got what the leader of God’s people didn’t get. Sometimes in losing our title and our coat, we find character. The heart of leadership is not our title, but our character. We have to remember whose kingdom this is; it’s God’s.

Never get caught up in the great things of leadership if it takes you away from the God things of leadership.

Disciples faught over being the greatest. Jesus said, “Not so with you.” It’s not about greatness. It’s about serving others. Insecure leaders have to have the title and position. A secure leader will pick up a towel and wash the feet of their followers.

Why do we do it (share title and leadership)?
Because Jesus said so. We always want more, so I’ll share a few things.

We get a healthier church. When we share this and invite others beside us in the chariot, we get healthier by it. Succession: I’m afraid in the future that our cities will be gifted some incredible civic centers, and they used to be called churches. The building stayed, but the personality left.

Can you do this? Can we empower others for the title, the position and the stage?

Do you have room in your chariot for a David or Joseph? Can you celebrate, even when they’re better than you?

Do I expand His Kingdom or my reputation? You’ll be forced to choose.

What difference is the Holy Spirit making in the environment I lead? Do not any longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. If a non-believer were doing my job instead of me, would he be doing it differently?

You are God’s Plan A for the marketplace and the local church. He chose us. It will cost you to be a lot like Jesus, but may I remind you it cost him a whole lot more.

1:15 PM CDT
Session 3a: The Multiplier Effect
Liz Wiseman

Multipliers are leaders who amplify intelligence and not diminish it. It’s about multiplying the capability of the people around you.

The difference between pressure and stress. William Tell felt pressure; his son felt stress. What do you do with the control you have as a leader? Do you share it with your team?

The multiplier believes their team is smart and they’re going to figure it out. Multipliers are trust gurus. They let the team drive. What happens when you don’t think your team can’t figure it out? Diminishers ask, “How can I get more of me?” “How do I multiply myself?” Did not listen, Controlling. Got 48% of team’s capability. Multipliers delegated and trusted. Got 95% of people’s capability.

At the top of the genius hierarchy is the genius-maker, not the genius.

Diminishers: People won’t figure it out without me.
Empire Builder
Decision Maker

Set direction on what they see and what they know. They don’t ask others what they see or what they know. They trust 1 or 2 people and run around to get buy in for decisions they already made.

Multipliers: People are smart and will figure it out.
Talent Magnet
Debate Maker

The accidental diminisher has a damaging effect without knowing it. They go to leadership training.

The Idea Guy.
The Pacesetter.
The Rapid Responder.
The Optimist.

Just because you have these tendencies, doesn’t mean you’re a diminisher.

How do you become a better multiplier?
Idea Guy: Take the extreme idea challenge. (Ask questions…. nothing but questions. Let other people find the answers.)
Pacesetter: Supersize a role.
Rapid Responder: Make a debate.
The Optimist: Create mistake space.

Bono – Benjamin Desraeli quote.
Man on a Wire – Weight was on back foot. Shifted weight, and the rest was easy. What is the small shift you could make to be a better mul

11:30 AM CDT
Session 2b: How to Lose Your Best People
Patrick Lencioni

This is really simple. What I’m going to do is remind you what you already know. Leaders are CROs, Chief Reminding Officers.

This is the reason I started my career in this field. My dad was the top salesman in his company, but darned it if he didn’t come home every night and complain about his job. (as a kid) Wouldn’t it be great if I could do something about that? That job thing is a big problem. I got to get a good job someday. So, I studied really hard. (Got a job with “Best Company to Work For” based on article). It was two days into this job that I realized, uh oh, I’m gonna be miserable. It’s not about getting a good job or bad job, but getting a job that is fulfilling or miserable.

First sign of a miserable job: Anonymity
Many professional athletes are miserable. In the locker room, you would have thought they were digging ditches for minimum wage. “Are you going to invite this guy (new star player) over for dinner and get to know him and what makes him tick?” “Oh no Pat. This is pro football. This is a job. We don’t do that here.” Your job as a manager includes caring for your people. Take interest in your people.

(Question from audience: How long did it take to leave that job you hated?)
About 2 years. A friend of mine stayed 6 years, but he was miserable too. Exit interview: “John, what could we have done to keep you longer?” “Anything.”

What’s more important, that first $500 bonus or that first email from your boss that asked “How is your dad doing?” after he had surgery?

We are called to love the people who work for us.

(Question from audience: If you’re in a job where you are anonymous, is your only option to leave?)
No. You can encourage upward. Ask about them and they may reflect it back to you.

Second sign of a miserable job: Irrelevance
(Corkie’s BBQ story) If you don’t think that your job matters to someone, in some way, big or small – you cannot love your work. Cleaning a bed pan – you are bringing dignity to people who need it most. BBQ – your job is to try and introduce some joy into this otherwise seemingly hopeless world (airport). I would want to know there’s some reason to do this. I want purpose and relevance in my life. We have to help our people at all levels. The hardest is administrative assistants. Their job is to make our lives easier. We’re embarrassed by it. When someone works hard to make our life easier, we need to celebrate that. Sometimes humility gets in our way.

Third sign of a miserable job: Immeasurement
This word isn’t real. We made it up. Human beings have a need in their lives to know whether they’re doing a good job. Salespeople and waiters/waitresses are sometimes more fulfilled because they know how they did (sales/tips). Sometimes the measurement is qualitative (are people on their cell phone during presentation). You can measure the wrong thing. Can you control it? If not, don’t measure that. Drive-thru: Count how many people you make laugh. Sometimes the reason we don’t do this is because, when we do, we lose control. We don’t want to give up that control.

Money is a satisfier. You can get enough. These things (3 signs) are drivers – you can never get enough. This is more than customer satisfaction, this is a life-changer. This is the essence – or at least the basics – of servant leadership. Management is ultimately a ministry (I’m from California, so I think I can be arrested for saying that).

10:30 AM CDT
Session 2a: It Worked for Me
General Colin Powell

Note: Powell is a great speaker, but his style is more of a storyteller (which I loved). This made it difficult to pull soundbites. I apologize for any sloppiness or inaccuracies.

Leadership is getting more out of people than the science of management says you can. You get that by having vision. You get leadership when you inspire people to reach beyond themselves. As a leader, you get nowhere without followers. Focus your leadership on your followers. You have to start with the purpose (why do we do this? how are we changing the world?). (approx.) The person cleaning my office had a purpose – to make the office shine. There is no such thing as an unimportant person in an organization.

Lesson from Reagan: I’m the president, but I trust people to do things wiithout them having to constantly bring it before me. Empowering people means taking risk and giving those you trust a zone of operation to work within.

Trust is the glue that will hold everything together and the lubricant to keep it moving forward.

Reagan had a great vision of purpose for the nation. He had simple themes that he kept repeating. Great leaders repeat themes of vision and purpose that infect the organization.

If you want to be a great leader, take care of your troops. If you are going to continue to move forward, have a destination.

Failure is not an option… oh yes it is, everytime. Great leaders understand that failure is always an option and know how to deal with it when it occurs.

Interview with Bill Hybels
(asked if he encountered racism)
I was fortunate in that I came along when the nation was making historic changes. I came into one of the most socially progressive organizations of that time – the military. I’m sure people looked at me and some saw an officer and some saw a black guy. If I’m a good brigade commander, I don’t care how I got it. My job was to take advantage of the opportunity. We’ve got a long way to go. We still have minorities in this country who do not share in our success. We have an obligation to not leave anyone behind.

(Why these mean so much to you: It’ll look different in the morning)
It may not (don’t panic Bill). The day can go really bad and have all kind of problems. It’s gonna get better in the morning. It’s not a prediction, it’s an attitude. When I was a young Lieutenant, I was working for a great captain. You will have a great day of training and you’ll think your’re hot stuff and overnight it all gets messed up. You just suck it up and do it all over again – it’s a great day to be a soldier.
(Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier)
How can we make our force more powerful? Constantly show your people perpetual optimism. No matter how bad a day we have, we can fix it. I try to stay on a nice, level keel at an altitude that doesn’t shake people up. People look to leaders for reassurance. You have to persuade people that their interest in the corporate interest; not order them around.
(You can’t stay mad)
It freezes the organization when leaders are always mad.

How do you know when to fire someone or give someone another chance.
I adapted to my subordinates. I would build on their strengths and and work with them on their weakness. There are times when I can’t get someone to get with my vision. I have to let them go. The first ones that know about it are the others. They don’t like bad followers getting one over. They’re looking for the leader to do something about it. Leaders are people who solve problems. If you don’ t, you lose the confidence of your subordinates. If people don’t bring you problems, there are two reasons: The worst, they think you don’t care anymore.

The biggest thing that trips up young leaders is ego. No one taught them humility. They think they turned the sun on in the morning. I had a subordinate who, every morning in my office, it seemed like he was measuring the drapes… and he was. I used him, but I made sure he was never in a position to change the drapes.

You promote people on the basis of their potential, not their present performance. You have to have an instinct for their future potential.

(What leader on the world stage did you have respect and admiration for?)
(after dodging) Nelson Mandela was asked if he wanted to get back at those who put him in prison. He said if I felt that way, I would still be in prison.

Problem solving is what leaders do, but tell me about the problem early. Don’t let me get caught by surprise. Don’t try to solve the problem beforehand. Let me help guide you. You have to create an environment where people feel free to bring that before you. I probed, had special trusted agents who told me what was going on. I trusted them to tell me, “Colin, you go no clothes on. You got a problem.” I was able to surprise people with things I wasn’t supposed to know.

(Challenge to preachers and pastors)
We come to church to hear the lessons, to learn about our faith and the Bible. We also want it made relevant to the world we’re living in. Tell us how to apply it. I respond to it (being challenged). You have to challenge people or they’ll just sit there and watch. What you’ve been talking about all morning is a challenge to establish vision and culture.
8:30 AM CDT
Opening Session: Bill Hybels

Opening remarks: Everybody wins when a leader gets better.
If God is desperate enough, He can use anybody to teach a leader.

The Courage That Leadership Requires
Moses’ charge to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:6). God’s charge to Joshua (Joshua 1:9). Both call him to be courageous. Leadership demands a non-stop flow of fortitude from day one to the leader’s final day.
Courage correlates to every single component of leadership.
We don’t have to look far for courageous leadership. Nelson Mandela. Ending Apartheid was a cause he was willing to fight for everyday. A cause for which he was fully prepared to die.

Vision is a picture of the future that creates passion in you and others.
Vision is the most potent weapon in a leader’s arsenal. Every significant vision God puts into you will put your courage to the test. Every vision tests the mettle of every leader. (Speaking about women launching WC Care Center, “Why any capable pastor would keep capable, fired up women from full deployment is beyond me.”) What do some leaders do when they get a challenging vision from God? They abort secretly. Are you snuffing out a great vision you’ve been given? Don’t go to your grave with visions shriveling up and dying within you. For God’s sake, and the world’s sake too, do not … Step out in faith even when you’re vibrating in fear.

The courage to define the current reality.
It’s essential to leadership. The leader must convince everybody that status quo is extremely dangerous to an organization. Status quo is always the precursor to a slow death. Three environments/organizational realities all leaders face: downturn, upturn, complacency. Each requires different skills and approaches. In a downturn, effective leaders must declare an emergency. Leaders, your team members all know the current reality. They are waiting for you to step up and acknowledge it. Whatever you’re leading right now, what’s your current reality? God will guide your steps, but it begins with a ruthless defining of your reality.

The courage to develop a culture.
Nothing has required more than developing a healthy culture within Willow. The first step was the hardest – hiring an outside firm to analyze the culture (Best Christian Workplace). Why? I was cowardly. I knew it was going to be ugly. This was going to hurt like a root canal without pain killers. People join organizations, they leave managers. Exit interviews led to training managers and letting go those who had become “learning blocked.” Consultant asked who’s job is it to drive the culture? Staff cultures will only be as healthy as the CEO or senior pastor wants it to be. Delegating or abdicating this to HR or anyone else is absolutely the kiss of death. You’ll need their support. Begin it with brave apologies for our contribution low moral and what caused it in the first place. Then had to look staff in the eyes, some 20-30 year veterans, and tell them unless they worked to become part of the beautiful new culture of our organization, they would be asked to disembark the bus. There are two types of people: vision builders and vision busters. We will no longer pay people to bruise and bust our culture.

The establishment and enforcement of values.
The more I use social media, the hungrier I become for true community. True community equals knowing and being known, loving and being loved, serving and being served, celebrating and being celebrated. How can a broken-hearted person sit with tears in the midst of sincere followers and no one reach out to him? There’s a time to cast vision, then there’s a time to establish an inviolable value in an organization. “It’s no longer a vision, we’re establishing it as a value.” For a vision to flip over into a value often requires something to flip over in the leader’s heart. Cast vision; declare value; behave accordingly.

Leaders need the courage required to finish strong.
If you lead an organization long enough, you are going to have to reinvent it and yourself more than once. It takes a lot of courage to start something entirely new, to sustain it over the long haul, and also to finish strong. If you have any desire to finish strong, you have to have the courage to have a conversation about a succession plan. Some of the most rewarding experiences in a leader’s marathon are reserved for quite late in the race.

Dustin Staiger is a business and marketing coach in Houston, TX. He addresses team and individual effectiveness, marketing, communications and creativity for smaller, entrepreneurial organizations as well as large enterprises.

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