Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit — Session 1


I have always heard about the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit but had never had the opportunity to attend. That changed today when Marty Duren and I battled traffic and rain in his convertible to join in on the simulcast at The People’s Church in Franklin. It’s been a great day so far. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

Güngör opened things up with “The Earth is Yours.” LOVE it.

Notes from Bill Hybels’ opening talk:

  • First task as a leader – Clarify vision and values.
  • Everyone wins when a leader gets better.
  • In the parable of the sower, there was a 75% seed-rejection ratio. Only 25% of the seeds took root and grew into trees. We need to sow more seed.
  • Never let what you’re doing be good enough. Always be tinkering. No process is perfect. It can always be improved.
  • You are the most difficult person you will ever lead.
  • Many leaders incorrectly assume that the most valuable asset is their time. It’s actually their energy and their ability to energize others and their company. Time means nothing if you’re slothful.
  • 6×6 card – six main objectives to accomplish in six weeks. These are challenges above and beyond your current duties.
  • God doesn’t make us a leader to respond. He makes us a leader to move ahead.
  • If we are the leaders we think we are, we should do everything possible to make sure the church/org. is successful after we leave.
  • Don’t paint the picture of “there” until you build the case of why we can’t stay “here”
  • Visions tend to die in the middle. They are the most vulnerable when the energy is no longer new and the finish is not yet in sight.
  • Be thankful for every day you get to lead.

Succession planning

  • Planning – Who makes the decision, what’s the time frame, etc. A lot of other questions must be answered first.
  • Find a Successor – Use an internal one if possible. Set a time frame, if not successful, move to external.
  • Transition – Use an overlapping timeframe and gradually increase responsibilities of the new leader and decrease those of the exiting leader.

Marty has better notes because he’s just that good. You can find those here.