Global Leadership Summit – Session 1

Bill Hybels

Relentless learner. Driven to action. Deep, personal sacrifice. These characteristics have propelled Bill Hybels through 35 years of ever-shifting challenges as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and Chairman of the Board at Willow Creek Association. The author of more than two dozen books including current bestseller The Power of a Whisper, Hybels trains Christian leaders world-wide—and consistently pushes himself to get better as a leader, every year. Single-minded in his passion for the local church, he issues hard-hitting truths that challenge people to take their organizations to the next level. Hybels’ successes—and mistakes—bring high-definition clarity to the things truly worthy of your leadership time and investment.


Session Notes

When a leader stops learning, the leader should just stop leading.  Leaders should be insatiable learners.

When a leader gets better, everybody wins.

5 Critical Questions

1) What is your current leadership challenge level at work?

Under-challenged?  Appropriately challenged?  Dangerously over-challenged?

Where do you think you do your absolute best work as a leader?

Where do you think your best thoughts?  Where do you come up with innovations?

Most of us do our best work just a little above the appropriately challenged level.

If you stay dangerously over-challenged long enough, you will break down in ways that you don’t want to break down.

Do you think it’s possible for organizations to be under-challenged or over-challenged?

2) What is your plan for dealing with challenging people in your organization?

Your organization’s future is totally dependent on attracting and retaining fantastic people.

As soon as you see a bad attitude developing, you have to lean into it.  Make sure you set a time frame for resolving the issue.  Willow allows 30 days.

How long do you let an under-performer stay?  You must have a plan and timeline for this too.  Willow creates a 3 month plan.

How do you deal with a staff person who is not keeping pace with the organization’s growth?  Take time.  Honor their service but make the difficult decision.  Willow takes 6-12 months.

If you don’t deal with challenging people in your organization, you discourage and demotivate your best people.

**Recommended resource: Best Christian Workplace

3) Are you naming, facing and resolving the problems that exist in your organization?

Every organization has seasons.  We have to be aware of the the potential cycle and the problems that lead to deceleration.

Accelerating → Booming → Decelerating → Tanking

If you infuse reinvention when you discover deceleration, you can divert back to accelerating rather than tanking.

4) When is the last time that you reexamined the core of what your organization is all about?

Are we clear about our core?

5) Have you had your leadership bell rung recently?

Has any leadership book, talk, experience with God, or crisis rocked your leadership world?

Leaders rarely learn anything new without having their world rocked.

There is too much at stake in this world for leaders to walk around with defeatist mindsets.

Which of these questions challenged you the most?  What is God already stirring in your heart?


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  • Jill Crew August 11, 2011  

    Thank you so much for posting these notes!  I appreciate you taking the time to share it with those of use who can’t be there!  Sounds like Willow is knocking it out of the park once again!

  • Chris Surratt August 11, 2011  

    Great notes Jenni! Hybels is still one of the best leadership minds out there.

  • Brandy Schaal August 11, 2011  

    Thanks Jenni for these great notes!  I’m relatively new to leadership so these are great questions to ask myself.  I think the one that speaks most to me is #3.  I work for a university developing new programs and we are definitely in the deceleration part of our innovation cycle.  Time to look at some reinvention!