Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit: My take on day uno

August 9, 2012 — Leave a comment


If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that I spent today at the Willow Creek Assocation Global Leadership Summit (well, at one of the many simulcasts thanks to St. Stephen andParamount Baptist Church). Good times. If my math is correct, there were 1,926,724 great ideas discussed. Here’s my synopsis of a handful of those. I’d be more thorough, but I think I got carpel tunnel due to frantic note-writing. I’ll break it down by speaker.

Bill Hybels

Favorite quote: “Leaders love to build teams…primarily because we don’t have a clue what we’re doing most of the time.”

Willow Creek has been successfully using the Alpha program. Here is more info:http://www.alphausa.org/Groups/1000065342/Guest_homepage.aspx

My main takeaways:

1.)    He told the parable from Luke 8 of the farmer sowing seed. He noted that the seed rejection ratio was 75%. A good way to overcome the ratio is to sow more seed. We need to focus on sowing more seed.

2.)    He discussed getting people from “here” (where we are right now in our church, business, life, etc.) to “there” (our goal destination, future, vision, etc.). The best way to motivate people to get from “here” to “there”: First, communicate why staying “here” is unacceptable. Then, talk about how exciting “there” is.

Condoleezza Rice

She had a ton of great points; but, to me, the point of her speech was best summed up by these challenging quotes:

“Democracy (1 man=1 vote) cannot mean the tyranny of the majority.”

“Democracy is only as strong as its weakest link.”

“With education, it doesn’t matter where you came from. It matters where you are going.”

Jim Collins

Jim Collins has this annoying habit of packing 8 zillion beautifully practical takeaways into 10 minutes. Here were a handful of things that really stuck with me.

Level 5 leaders (see his books here http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jim+collins if this means nothing to you) of great organizations tend to have 3 additional traits:

1.    Fanatic Discipline: the “20 mile march” concept (explained in #5 here:http://www.inc.com/kimberly-weisul/jim-collins-good-to-great-in-ten-steps.html)

2.    Empirical Creativity: we must balance discipline with creativity.  Fire bullets before cannon balls. (a great explanation of this concept here:http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/jim-collins-on-bullets-before-cannonballs/)

3.    Productive Paranoia: great companies tended to keep 3 to 10 times the cash to assets of similar companies. “It’s what you do before the trouble comes that makes you strong when people most need you.”

Favorite quotes from Jim:

“The greatest danger is not failure. The greatest danger is to be successful without understanding why you were successful in the first place.”

“The signature of mediocrity is not the unwillingness to change. It’s chronic inconsistency.”

“Your organization is not truly great if it cannot be great without you.”

“Good intentions are never an excuse for incompetence.” –Jim quoting Peter Drucker

So, then there was this beatboxing cellist. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds. Here’s a clip:


Also, these guys performed. They’re pretty fantastic too…even sans beatboxing/cello.


Looking forward to day 2. I’ll probably live-tweet it also. http://www.twitter.com/joshwoodtx. along with a ton of other Twits using hashtag #wcagls https://twitter.com/#!/search/?q=%23wcagls&src=hash


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