The words awesome, incredible, amazing, and even life-changing can often be over-used to describe events or experiences. But I wouldn’t have a problem using these words to describe the 2013 Global Leadership Summit that took place in the last two days!
The event was attended by more than 80,000 leaders across the US at more than 230 satellite locations (it will be translated into 45 languages and taken to nearly 100 countries in the coming months where more than 100,000 international leaders will experience the event, as well).
What I enjoyed most about the Summit was NOT just the content, but the IMPACT, spiritually and emotionally. This was our third Summit, and every year I describe it as leadership formation by firehose! It’s always intense, and this year was as intense as ever!
The Summit is highly impacting because of the great communicators, of course, but it’s more than that. It’s great because of the diversity, which gives it so much contrast. One moment, we’re listening to a pastor, the next we’re listening to a business leader, an educator, or someone fighting for justice in a dark part of the world. Other times are filled by creative artists and musicians. There’s also a variety of personalities and communication styles. That diversity provides a great deal of contrast.
You can read detailed notes from some of the sessions at the WCA Blog. Others, like Scott Cochrane, have posted their favorite quotes (day 1 and day 2). Auxano posted some statistical details, including the fact that the #wcagls hashtag was the #1 trending topic on Twitter on Thursday and Friday, generating 50 million tweets.
Courage was the major theme of the Summit. Bill Hybels, who’s written about courage (see my post on his book, Courageous Leadership), kicked off the event with a talk centering around God’s word to Joshua to be strong and courageous. But there were other major themes, as well, such as emotional and spiritual health, and failure is a necessary, and painful, part of leadership.
At the heart of the Summit is the belief, as expressed by Bill Hybels, “Everybody wins when a leader gets better!” Hybels also noted that “Leaders are incurable learners!” That’s why so many people participate in the two-day event. I especially love the fact that over the last few years, even more leaders outside the US experience the event than inside the US!
Heading into the Summit, I didn’t know who all of the speakers were. I was most excited about Bill Hybels (no one inspires and challenges me more) and Andy Stanley (another leader and communicator who challenges me), as well as Patrick Lencioni, whose book on organizational health, The Advantage is making an impact here in Clearfield (both of our church councils are studying it as well as one or more organizations in the community). I also wanted to hear Brené Brown after having watched her popular TED Talk. But it was also good to hear speakers I wasn’t familiar with (there were no bad sessions)!
Here are some of my favorite quotes …
“God made you a leader to move people from here to there … we cannot stay here! (Bill Hybels)
“It doesn’t take a lot of guts to stand before people and say, ‘I long for the day…’ It takes courage to say ‘This is that day!'” (Bill Hybels)
“Some of the best rewards in a leader’s marathon are reserved for late in the race.” (Bill Hybels)
“Love God. Love People. Do stuff.” (Bob Goff)
“Don’t just teach principles. Connect to values. … You want to change the world? Learn how to change behavior!” (Joseph Grenny)
“Love is cultivated between two people only when there is self-love present in both. … It’s very difficult to love people more than we love ourselves. (Brené Brown)
“We can’t give people what we don’t have.” (Brené Brown)
“If you haven’t given a sermon and wanted to leave town afterward, you aren’t trying hard enough!” (Brené Brown)
“Without failure there can be no innovation.” (Brené Brown)
“The size of your harvest depends on how many leaders you have. The more harvesters you have the larger your harvest will be.” (Oscar Muriu)
“Identify the budding leaders around you and take them to God in prayer.” (Oscar Muriu on what he calls his “hit list”)
“Lead where you are. You only have between this day and your final day to make a play for God.” (Bill Hybels)
Well, there’s a lot to process. Joleen and I want to follow-up by reading some books by some of the speakers, including Joseph Grenny and Henry Cloud, in particular. The process didn’t end when the Summit concluded yesterday. In many ways, the journey is just beginning!