Highlights from Day One of the 2014 Global Leadership Summit

Every year I attend the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit, which takes place over two days in August and is simulcast all over North America. It is simply the best, most substantive leadership conference I’ve ever attended. I always walk away from this event having captured a number of profound insights and key action steps that make me better as a person and a leader.

Below is a summary of my key highlights from day one of the 2014 Summit:

Bill Hybels

  • Leaders with the highest level of passion for a vision often have the lowest awareness of the spirit of the team that has been assembled to achieve the vision.
  • Don’t get so addicted to vision achievement that you treat people like equipment—expendable.
  • Resolve relational conflict, regardless of how scary it feels.
  • Find and develop leaders with a legacy mindset.
  • The grander the vision, the greater the price tag.

Carly Fiorina

  • Human potential is the one true limitless resource in the world.
  • The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of people.
  • We call a lot of people leaders who have never actually lead a day in their life—they are not leaders at all.
  • An organization cannot achieve its potential if the people inside it cannot achieve theirs.

Jeffrey Immelt

  • You can tell a lot about a leader during times of crisis. It is important to test potential leaders under these conditions.
  • Essential traits in a leader: willing to stand apart, questions authority, and drives change.
  • Leadership drives the “oneness” of the company.
  • If you believe in talent and meritocracy, then you must believe in diversity.

Susan Cain

  • People respond to different stimuli, so it’s important to create the right environment where people can thrive.
  • We’re such social creatures that we inadvertently become conformists.
  • Forget networking; focus on service.
  • Stop the madness for group work…everything doesn’t have to be done in groups.

Brian Loritts

  • Your vocation can be a viable venue for the good of humanity.
  • The blessings of God were not meant to be hoarded.
  • Our vision as leaders has to be more than the stuff that will perish.

Patrick Lencioni

  • Three dangerous leadership mistakes: becoming a leader for the wrong reason, failing to embrace vulnerability, and making leadership too important.
  • A leader sacrifices them self for others, even when they don’t know what the ROI will be.
  • When you are vulnerable, people will walk through walls for you.
  • Our identity can easily get too wrapped up in being a leader.
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