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Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the Global Leadership Summit presented by Bill Hybels and the team at Willow Creek Community Church. Dating back to my first days in ministry, Hybels and the Willow Creek ministry have been very influential in my leadership and ministry philosophy. Last week was no exception.

We had several people from The Unstuck Group team who also joined me in the experience. However, we operate remotely with teammates in 15 different states. The Global Leadership Summit fits us perfectly because we were able to engage the same learning opportunity from multiple different locations.

After reflecting on the event, I identified one key takeaway from every speaker I heard. With that, here are…

9 Challenges to Shape My Leadership

1) “It’s cruel and unusual punishment to employ a person and not tell them how they’re doing.” (Bill Hybels)

This was a great reminder for me to give more specific feedback to my team. My natural tendency is to stay silent until there’s a problem. That’s not fair to the people I’m leading.

>> More from Bill Hybels’ talk on The Four Lenses of Leadership

2) “We need to live out our values in the world.” (Melinda Gates)

In other words, it’s not enough to have a list of values. I have to be intentional about engaging those values in everything I do. In fact, the better job I can do of establishing measurements to track each value, the more likely it is that my actions will reflect those values.

>> More from Melinda Gates’ talk on Living Out Your Values in the World

3) “Leadership is about taking wise chances and giving people opportunities.” (Jossy Chacko)

I’m entrepreneurial, so I’m not afraid to take risks. I need to remain wise about the risks I take. If I wait for everything to be perfectly aligned, I’ll never be able to take that wise chance. By the way, giving the right people the right opportunities may be the best risk I can take.

>> More from Jossy Chacko’s talk on Unquestionable Ways to Expand Your Leadership Reach

4) “If you are a leader, you have to be vulnerable first.” (Patrick Lencioni)

This was a passing comment Lencioni made describing a specific exercise he uses with consulting clients, but it jumped out to me. My team will not be vulnerable about the challenges they are facing unless I am vulnerable first.

>> More from Patrick Lencioni’s talk on The Ideal Team Player

5) “Execution doesn’t like complexity.” (Chris McChesney)

I wanted to jump through the video screen and high-five McChesney after he said this. Execution is so hard for churches, and one of the key reasons is because of the complexity that exists. It’s one of my personal missions to help churches remove that complexity so they can have a bigger impact.

>> More from Chris McChesney’s talk on The Four Disciplines of Execution

6) “People have uphill hopes and downhill habits.” (John Maxwell)

That’s a reminder that hope is not a strategy. If I want to go someplace I’ve never been in my leadership or personal life, I’ll need to establish a new plan with new disciplines to see it happen. My current habits won’t produce new results.

>> More from John Maxwell’s talk on The One Thing to Get Right

7) “If I have to hold it to keep it going, I have the wrong people in place.” (T.D. Jakes)

I’ve made this mistake in the past. Because someone failed or I didn’t trust them with a responsibility, I held on to it for too long. I have to be willing to coach and empower others to take on key roles. I also have to be willing to make the tough calls on personnel if it’s not working.

>> More from Bishop TD Jakes’ talk on Going Into Your World

8) “True humility is agreeing with God about who you are… True dependency is agreeing with God about who He is.” (Danielle Strickland)

This may not mean anything to you, but this principle is really the key for people like me who struggle with anxiety. When I try to take control rather than embracing true humility and dependency, I can get in a very unhealthy place.

>> More from Danielle Strickland’s talk on Essential Leadership Shifts

9) “Customers want a perfect product, served timely, and to know you care.” (Horst Schulze)

I’ll just be honest, the part about letting them “know you care” is the biggest challenge of those three for me. My natural wiring is all about producing great results in a timely fashion. I have to work to manage the third part. And that’s also where I need the complement of my teammates.

>> More from Horst Schulze’ talk on Creating an Organization of Excellence and Efficiency

For those of you who participated in the Leadership Summit last week, what were some of your key takeaways? How were you inspired to take your next steps in your leadership?

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