Willow Leadership Summit – Thursday Afternoon Sessions

Session 3

Bill George “Finding Your True North”

Professor – Harvard Business School / Former CEO – Medtronic

Am I doing everything I can to make this world a better place?

Are you developing your gifts as a leader?

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that’s in us.

Choose leaders on:

  • character vs. charisma
  • substance vs. style
  • integrity vs. image

What Bill believes the 21st century leader must do:

  • Align around vision
  • Empower others to step up
  • Serve others
  • Collaborate – know how to bring organizations (not just individuals) together

No one wants you in a leadership role if you don’t take time for anyone else.

6 Things to do to Develop as a Leader:

  1. Understand the purpose of your leadership.  Follow your compass not your clock.
  2. Gain/build self-awareness.  Get feedback. Go through a period of introspection.
  3. Be true to your values
  4. Follow your motivations/motivated capabilities
  5. Build a support team around you
  6. Lead on integrated life.  Be the same person in every environment.


Session 3 cont.

Interview with Wendy Kopp – CEO and Founder of Teach for America

Because this was an interview style I found it difficult to take great notes so instead I created a list of my observations of Wendy.

  • Extremely passionate about improving education
  • More focused on the cause than what others or the media are saying
  • Believes in this cause to her very core
  • Stays focused on the main initiatives
  • Confident, comfortable, relaxed, compelling
  • Shies away from the title of leader
  • Inspirational!


Session 4 Part 1

John Burke “Leading in New Cultural Realities

Lead Pastor of Gateway Community Church

John spoke about how we as leaders need to cultivate the soil for people and it’s God’s job to grow people.  So with that in mind he gave us some insights into how we should be cultivating the soil.

Cultivate the soil with grace giving acceptance.

Cultivate the soil with authentic, honest community

Cultivate the soil by inspiring constant connection with God’s spirit


Session 4 Part 2

Efrem Smith “Leading in New Cultural Realities”

Senior Pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church (this church has a hip hop service – would love to see that!)

1 John 4:7

How do we engage culture for kingdom purposes?

In order to lead in a multi-cultural world, we need to become a beloved leader.

If you can’t love across race, class, gender, etc. you can’t lead.

We also must be an abiding leader.

We must be confessing leaders.  Confess where we got it wrong.

What if we came to the conclusion that race labels aren’t really who we are?

You are more than your racial label, you are empowered by a force from on high!


Lots of great stuff today!  I think what I am most wrestling with is defining my uniqueness as a leader.  From several different angles today I was reminded that I don’t need to try to be another leader or mimic the characteristics of another leader… I need to be the leader that God designed for me to be.

More tomorrow!

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  • Aaron August 7, 2008  

    great notes Jenni

    you must be a faster note taker than me 😉

  • Tommy Sircy August 7, 2008  

    Wow! I feel like I was there and I wasn’t.  Were you a court reporter in another life?I like the part about “Shies away from the title of leader.” That is so important.

    The only reason people should follow our leadership, is because we are following Him.

    This is great stuff. Thanks, Jenni.

  • janowen August 7, 2008  

    thanks for sharing so much. i feel like i can benefit from your observations!

  • Ellie Campisano September 15, 2008  

    Hi Jenni,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Wendy Kopp’s interview at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. It was a fantastic conference overall, and we’re glad you found Wendy’s thoughts on the importance of service so valuable. We are so excited about continuing to grow our movement, and want leaders to join us. If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more or joining our movement, please visit http://www.teachforamerica.org/jointhemovement.

    Ellie Campisano
    Recruitment Coordinator, Faith Community Relations Team