Summit Takeaways for Organizational Leaders

This year’s Leadership Summit was another exceptional one.  Once again my brain was mush as I drove away Friday evening.  So many challenges and opportunities to process.

The theme I walked away with this year was the importance of organizational health and more specifically, the wisdom and behavior of the leader in charge of that organization.

Here are the key points from the speakers that spoke to this issue:

Bill Hybels talked about the 4 types of courage that leaders need:

  1. Courage to embrace the vision.
  2. Courage to define reality.
  3. Courage to build a fantastic culture.
  4. Courage to establish and reinforce values.

Colin Powell shared a few important reminders:

  • Leadership is always about followers.  It’s about investing in the people who get it done.
  • Show perpetual optimism.  People look to the leader for confidence.
  • Challenge people or they’ll just sit there and watch.

Patrick Lencioni definied the 3 things that cause job misery:

  1. Anonymity.  To be known.  Good people don’t leave jobs where they are known.
  2. Irrelevance.  If you don’t think your job matters to others, you can’t love your work.
  3. Immeasurement.  We must give people a way to measure their performance.

Liz Wiseman explained the difference between diminishers and multipliers. As a leader you can be a multiplier by using your intelligence to amplify and multiply the capability of people around you.  As a result, the people around you do their best work.


  • Create stress.
  • Rarely ask people to solve problems they don’t know how to do.
  • Delegate small decisions.
  • Are empire builders.


  • Believe people are smart and will figure it out.
  • Invite people into the space of difficulty and challenge.
  • Create owners, not hirelings.
  • Are talent managers.

Joseph Grenny explained that leadership is intentional influence. He defined the six sources of influence explaining that when we understand these sources of influence, we can change behavior and in turn change the world.

Brene Brown (who happens to be one of my favorite authors right now) talked about the two irreducable needs of men, women and children:

  • Love
  • Belonging

Things we need to consider as leaders to allow those we lead to feel loved and belong:

  • A leader models the courage to ask the questions, not have all the answers.
  • We can’t give what we don’t have (courage, belonging, grace, help).
  • The space between professing and practicing is where we lose people.
  • What kills love (shame, blame, betrayal, disrespect, withholding), kills organizations.
  • Feedback is a function of respect.  People feel unseen when we don’t give vulnerable, honest feedback.

Dr. Henry Cloud shared from his book Boundaries for Leaders:

  • Leaders don’t blame.  They take stewardship for what they’ve been given and lead people.  They take ownership of it.
  • Leaders do hard things.
  • Leaders must be ridiculously in charge of yourself first.

There was a such a strong and consistent thread in this year’s summit about the health of our teams and our responsibility as leaders to create a healthy culture.  I would encourage you to check out some of the resources from these speakers and order the DVDs from the Summit to share with your team. (Click here to find all the resources from the Summit.)  Our responsibility to lead others well is a heavy weight that we must recognize for the value it carries.  I encourage you to seize the opportunity to learn and grow!

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