Global Leadership Summit 2011

On Thursday and Friday this week I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit at a satellite site in Santa Maria, California.  The radio station I work for  has the benefit of trading some advertising for tickets to cover our staff team each year.  So we get to spend a couple days away from the busyness of the office to just learn from God and from the speakers.

Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois,  founded the Global Leadership Summit in 1995. The purpose of the GLS is to train and equip leaders around the world to lead where they are in the specific ways God has called them to.

Last year was my first time attending the GLS and after two years of going I can say that this is such a quality conference.  Getting to hear from some of the most influential pastors, business leaders, forward thinkers and difference-makers from around the world is such an honor, really.

My favorite thing about this conference is that you not only get moving spiritual messages on topics like faith and humility, but you get trained in a variety of things like leadership, conflict resolution, business strategies, church dynamics, personal growth, technology advancement and more.

The conference is on the bit of the pricey side, but for a lot of people I think the cost might be worth it.  Registration for students is $80 and then it goes up from there.

I’d like to share a little about what God did and is still doing in my life through this conference, but to be honest, I’m still processing everything.  The Summit leaves you feeling like you’ve been drinking from a fire hydrant – but in a good way.  So instead of sharing about what I learned, I figured I would just share some bits and pieces from my notes.  I think even the notes might inspire or move you in some way.


Bill Hybels

If you find yourself (or your org.) stuck, you can either come up with excuses for why you must stay stuck, OR, you can come up with bold, new solutions. Defeatedness vs. Boldness.

How you finish is always how you’ll be remembered. Don’t end it with a wimper.

Challenge scale – performance depends on the level of challenge

1. D.O.C. (Dangerously Over Challenged)

– we do our best work HERE (just into low D.O.C.)

2. Appropriately Challenged

3. Under Challenged

Leaders have to take responsibility for replenishing their “bucket”


Len Schlesinger  – “Action Trumps Everything”
President, Babson College; Harvard Professor; Former Vice Chair, Limited Brands

Entrepreneurship is the solution for many of the world’s dire problems.

Entrepreneurs are not born with a special gene that makes them entrepreneurs.  Anyone can become an entrepreneur.

If you can figure out how to do something better – and do it – you can be successful as an ent.  You don’t have to come up with a brand new idea that’s never been done before.

Find opportunities to create social and economic value everywhere.

Ent. is a discipline.  And it can be learned.

If you can’t predict the future, create it.

Don’t do nothing because you can’t completely solve the problem (EX: global hunger).  Take a step with what you have.

Stop worrying about what you want to do.  Start worrying about what to do NEXT.


Honorable Cory A. Booker – “Stand Up”
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Urban Reformer

When I look out over a neighborhood (or my apartment complex, dorm, work place, etc.) what do I see?  If I see problems and bad stuff…that’s all I’m ever going to see.  OR, do I see opportunity and hope?


Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter NcNeil – “Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times”
Speaker; Thought Leader, Founder and President, Salter McNeil & Associates Chicago, Illinois

If you want to break through cultural barriers:

1. Pray for a divine mandate/ a catalytic event

2. Name your catalytic events.  View shifts in the world (EX: economic crisis in the U.S.) as catalytic events, not catastrophes.  Find what God is doing in something.  He IS in control.

3. Mobilize people to go

*When crossing cultural barriers: go not to help, but to learn.


Seth Godin – “Poke The Box”
Bestselling Author; Squido Founder; Renowned Marketing Blogger New York, New York

Don’t wait to be picked, pick yourself.

The internet has given you a platform that people have never had in the past.  Use it to your advantage.  If you want to sing, sing and put it on You Tube.  If you want to write, write and start a blog.

Do art.  Don’t just follow the rules.

We are constantly being told to fit in and conform.  Don’t.  Times are changing and the innovative, the creative and the cutting edge are the future.

The challenge, it turns out, isn’t perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by.  The challenge is getting into the habit of starting.


Steven Furtick – “Audacious Faith
Lead Pastor, Elevation Church Charlotte, North Carolina

God doesn’t call you to have the faith to finish what he calls us to.  He only calls us to have the faith to start.

If you will dig the ditches, God will send the rain.  (Elisha story)


Bill Hybels – “Tough Callings”

“I wonder if people understand how precious callings really are.  How much thought God goes through before He taps a person on the shoulder and says,

Here’s an assignment.  I’ve crafted it for you.  It might be a difficult one but I want you to do it.  I’m going to grow you up through it and I want you to be faithful to it.

I fear that people take these callings far too lightly, and they bail far too quickly.


As leaders we are addicted to the narcotic of growth and success.

What if God called you to lead something that never amounted to any kind of earthly success?

Often we enjoy leading things that get us perks like visibility, higher pay, recognition and success.  But what if God calls us to spend a season or a lifetime leading a church, organization or group of people that never experiences explosive growth?


Mama Maggie Gobran – “Tough Callings”
Founder & CEO, Stephen’s Children Ministry; Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Cairo, Egypt

A Coptic Christian from Egypt’s middle class, Maggie Gobran was teaching computer science at American University in Cairo when she first visited the Zabbaleen – an impoverished and despised minority community of Coptic Christians who live and work among the garbage slums of Cairo.

Sensing God’s calling to serve the children of the Zabbaleen, she founded Stephen’s Children, a ministry that matches home mentors with children, supports 80 preschools with medical clinics, and serves children from more than 25,000 families, all in the neighborhoods of the garbage collectors or urban poor.

A Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Mama Maggie has spent more than 20 years serving the poorest of the poor for Jesus’ sake.

“In silence you leave the many and be with the One.”


Michelle Rhee – “Students First”
Founder and CEO,; Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools Washington, D.C.

From the documentary: Waiting For Superman

Children don’t have the ability to stand up for themselves and their education.  We fight so much for the rights of teachers, but what about the rights of the children and their right to a learn and to a good education no matter their socioeconomic status?

How can we have an education system where 95% of the adults think we’re doing an excellent job, when, in reality, we are only producing an 8% proficiency in math?


Dr. Henry Cloud – “The Evil, The Foolish, The Wise”
Clinical Psychologist; Best-Selling Author; Leadership Consultant
Los Angeles, California

The Wise

When confronted with light/truth these people adjust themselves.  They change.

When you confront them they smile and thank you for the constructive feedback.

The Fool

When confronted with light/truth these people try to adjust the light.  They attempt to change the truth (excuses) and they oftentimes shoot the messenger.

They develop a pattern of excuses and therefore do not grow and improve.  They don’t own the problems.

Fools only change when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing.

The Evil

People who have destruction in their hearts.  They want pain for other people.  Don’t attempt to help grow these people.  They are bad for an organization and will divide your staff.


John Dickson – “Humilitas”
Director, Centre for Public Christianity; Senior Minister, St. Andrews Anglican Church Sydney, Australia

Humility.  Latin: humilitas: The ability to hold one’s power for the good of others, not personal gain.

Humility is common sense.  What we don’t know far outweighs what we do know or can do in any specific field.

Historically, humility being viewed as beautiful and desirable can be attributed to the person of Jesus Christ.  The ancient Greeks and Romans used to word as an insult and they valued building one’s honor.  In the ancient world, pride trumped over humility.

However, Jesus preached a different message.  He claimed that we should be humble and consider others before ourselves.  This was a new message to the people of that time.  It wasn’t until his crucifixion that his followers finally understood what he meant.  They saw him use his power for the good of others, not himself.

Jesus’ teachings and example changed the entire world’s culture to where we now value and respect people who are great, yet humble.


One thought on “Global Leadership Summit 2011

  1. Pingback: Big Brothers, Big Sisters « World At The Wayside

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