GLS14 – Jeffrey Immelt

Jeffrey Immelt

President and CEO, General Electric

Throughout my career there has never been a job in the company that was beneath me.

If you’re more a giver than a taker, your peers know that.  Horizontal strength is what keeps institutions together.

The best leaders go forward.  See the world as it is and figure out a way to go forward.

General Electric invests $1 billion a year in leadership development.

Leadership is a commitment to:

  • Integrity
  • Performance
  • Change

Leadership has a shelf life.  You regularly need a tune up.

Leadership is a strategic imperative for the company.

Culture and leadership are fundamental to the company.

Come to work because you love what you do and you want to make a difference.

Learn from mistakes and get better.  Making excuses suggests that you aren’t willing to learn.

As a leader you’re in the business of giving people confidence.

You may questions my decisions, but you won’t question my intentions.

You can’t guarantee outcomes, but you can guarantee a process.

Leadership is a intense journey into yourself.  Self-renewal, self-discovery.


GLS14 – Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina

Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Chairman of Good 360

Human potential is the one, only, limitless resource we have in this world.  It is amazing what happens when human potential is unlocked for worthy goals and purpose.

Things that crush potential:

  • fear
  • subjugation
  • bureaucracy – rules-based, process-driven; forget who they are there to serve; they crush the people inside it and the people they serve

The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of others.  Leadership unlocks potential.

Leadership is not:

  • management
  • position, title or power

Leaders change the order of things and it does not matter if they have a title or not.

Leaders never accomplish anything worthwhile acting on their own.

People are not poor because they lack potential.  They are poor because they lack opportunity.



Strategy/Goals/Vision – Where are we going and why are we going there? – Where/Why/How

Organization/Team/Structure/Process – How are we going to work together to get this work done?  Structure should always follow strategy.

Metrics/Results – How are we going to measure progress and reward success?  What counts as progress?  What gets measured is what gets done.  What are we measuring?  What are we rewarding?

Culture/Behavior – What’s it like to work around here.  It all boils down to behavior.  Values consistent with behavior.  The leader has to set the tone and model the behavior.

When you set the frame you set people free!  You don’t dictate every move.  You set the frame and set them frame.  The organization can not achieve it’s potential unless the people in it achieve their potential.

20/20 Rule

20% of the people in most organizations are change warriors – harness the warriors!

20% of the people in most organizations are the “hell no, I won’t go” types – they are the source of resistance

60% of the people are skeptics; they are waiting


Successful change never happens until the 60% are convinced.

How do we convince our 60%?

True leadership requires faith.  A love of God makes leadership easier.

Faith gives us the gift of humility.  It is not about us.  It is about others.  A true leader approaches their task with a servant’s heart.

Faith gives us the gift of empathy.

Faith gives us the gift of optimism. A leader must know that things can be better and that people will rise to the occasion.

Faith teaches us that every one of us is equal and gifted by God.

Leadership is a choice.  It can be learned by anyone.

Choose to lead.  Choose to change the order of things.  Choose to fulfill your own potential of leadership and choose to unlock the potential of others.

GLS14 – Session 1 Bill Hybels

Hard Fought Leadership Lessons

by Bill Hybels

**These are my raw notes from the session.  I’ll be writing more application & takeaways following the summit.

Leaders by definition are visionaries.  We get seized by visions from God.  The vision consumes us.  It becomes our identity.  It affirms our self-worth.

We can become obsessed with the thrill of achieving the vision.

Leaders with the highest level of vision and passion often have the lowest level of awareness of the spirit of the team they’ve assembled to achieve that vision.

The leader comes to the conclusion that the team doesn’t care as much about the vision.  You start to think the team is dispensable.  Staff feel like cogs in a wheel, gears in a machine.

What God treasures most is people, even more than visions.

Don’t make your people pay because you’re so fired up about the vision.

Steps to turn a culture around:

5 Key Commitments Willow made:

1)    Use outside firm to do survey and assess results

2)    Bill and exec team own the turnaround “Your culture will only ever be as healthy as the senior leader wants it to be”

3)    Get serious about training everyone on staff who manages people “People join organizations, they leave managers”.

4)    Raise the level of candor in performance reviews.  Everybody wants to know, “How am I doing?”

“The kindest form of management is the truth.” – Jack Welch

Use these three words to coach staff:

Start. – What do they need to start doing?

Stop. – What do they need to stop doing?

Keep Doing. – What do they need to keep doing?

Lead with a 3 M Strategy:

Move something ahead.

Modify the plan.

Motivate people before the meeting ends.

5)    Ruthless commitment to resolving relational conflict regardless of how scary it feels.  Relational rifts are an opportunity to go to new levels.

In the average Christian organization only 54% of employees are truly engaged in their work.

In the U.S. corporate world only 30% of employees are truly engaged in their work.

Part of why God made us leaders is to prepare emerging leaders.

5 Ways to Develop Leaders

1)    Put them in High challenge roles

2)    Assign them to short-term task force

3)    Offer them real time feedback

4)    Provide coaching and mentoring

5)    Offer classroom courses and seminars

Test leaders by giving them short-term task forces:

1)    Success or failure must both be possible.

2)    The emerging leader must take full charge.

3)    Must work with a wise variety of people.

4)    Must involve real pressure and a deadline.

5)    The end product and performance must be evaluated by a senior leader.

Gauge how resourceful they are.  You have to ascertain what they’ll do when they don’t know what to do.

John 10

Hireling types (short-term ladder climber)

1)    they don’t give a rip about your sheep

2)    they have no intentions of staying long-term

3)    if a predator threatens, they will be the first to run for safety

Owner types (want to make a legacy play)

1)    care about the sheep

2)    they have a long term view

3)    they will lay down their life for the well being of the sheep

Find and develop leaders with a legacy mindset.

The average tenure for a fortune 500 CEO is 4 ½ years

Prevailing churches, effective NGO’s, thriving business can’t survive on hireling types.  They can’t be trusted to develop something of lasting value.

Legacy leaders:

  • address longterm economic viability
  • work for the grander vision
  • run on higher quality fuel source (to please the God they love or give their life to a cause beyond themselves)

You can lead small, safe or selfishly.

Or you can choose to live a grander vision.

You don’t drift into being a legacy leader.  The drift is self, safety & comfort.

What will you do with your dash?  (The dash between birth and death dates)

What will your legacy be?  What of value or beauty will you leave behind?

Leaders need to develop endurance

James 1:12

The grander the vision, the greater the price tag.

Grand visions get complicated and costly.

Legacy leaders need to develop endurance strategies to keep them engaged for the longhaul.

Hard to hear God in a rushed way.

Hear the voice of God in an unrushed way.

Create solitude breaks.

If you’re exhausted, discouraged, or on the brink of hopelessness humble yourself and call for help.  Acknowledge that this rough patch requires help.

Psalm 34:18

You might be one prayer away from a rescue.

Global Leadership Summit


For the next two days I’ll be hanging out with 130,000 leaders in 350+ cities for The Global Leadership Summit.  This year we’re celebrating 20 years of The Summit!

This leadership experience has been a key event in my life.  I’m so thankful for the leaders who have challenged, inspired and stretched me through the wisdom they have shared here.

I’ll be serving on the social media team once again so be sure to follow along on twitter, instagram and right here on the blog.  My focus will be on ways that we can apply what we learn in each session to our everyday lives as leaders.

Stay tuned!

Just Enough


Deep enough to drown.

Foggy enough to confuse.

Complex enough to frustrate.

Uncertain enough to unsettle.

That’s how leadership feels most days. 

The outside forces are just enough to cause me to question everything.

“Leaders must be tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain, and resilient enough to bounce back and keep on moving.” Jesse Jackson

The inside forces – our God-given strengths and instincts – are just enough too.

Leadership is never about having all the answers all the time.  It’s never about complete clarity and confidence.  It’s having just enough of whatever we need for whatever we face for the day.

Just enough is ENOUGH for your leadership today.

Summer Reading Plan: Relevant


The historian and moralist known as Lord Acton is credited with saying, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

The “great men” Lord Acton referred to are those in positions of power—leaders and influencers. What a despairing viewpoint of something that was intended to be a God-given gift!

Have you ever wrestled with the desire to control?

In this month’s issue of Relevant Magazine, I’m sharing my thoughts on Leading When You’ve Lost Control.

You can click here to continue reading at
PLUS, as part of my Summer Reading Plan series, I’m giving away a one-year subscription to Relevant Magazine!

Leave a comment telling us how control has impacted you as a leader.

Summer Reading Plan: Atlas Girl



Okay everyone, I couldn’t be more excited about this week’s summer reading giveaway… Atlas Girl is a beautiful memoir from a precious new friend, Emily Wierenga.  Emily is guest posting today so I’ll be brief and encourage you to read what she shares… and then comment to win one of two copies of her book.  You’ll instantly love her!  Plus she shares some powerful truths in her post that every leader needs to be reminded of.

5 Secrets to True Success (and memoir giveaway)

By Emily T. Wierenga


Jenni Catron

I’ve always wanted to be famous.

We were walking home from college one day, my boyfriend and I, the sun on our faces, the wind at our backs.

Trent was asking me what I wanted to become when I graduated, and this girl in the blond hair and bell-bottoms said, “A television news anchor.”

“Why?” he said.

I looked down at my feet. “Well, I guess, I’d like to change the world.”

In high school the boys had always just said, “You’d be great at that, because you’re so pretty!” I liked that response much better.

“Why do you need your face to be on television in order to change the world?” he said then, this farm boy who volunteered at kids’ club and bowled with his Grandma on weekends.

“I don’t know.” I was nearly running, trying to escape the past, but its legs were longer than mine. I was still the lonely preacher’s kid who was always comparing herself to others and turned anorexic.


Trent put a hand on mine. “You don’t have to be seen to make a difference,” he said, and I knew then I would marry him.

“But if no one sees me,” I said, “then who am I?”

I’d believed all those self-help books that say we are what we make of ourselves, that the power of success lies in our hands, that the highest rung on the ladder is the aim.

It’s been 15 years, and I’m an author and a speaker, and I’ve learned this: my husband was right. True success is not about being seen, or about having the right labels or the right job. It’s about this:

  1. Humility. Success is about treating others better than you treat yourself; it’s about seeing the person versus the mass; it’s about being small, and assuming the lowest position of service and waiting for the right time to be lifted up and recognized. Those who steal the show receive false glory.
  2. Integrity. Success is about doing the right thing, the hard thing, even if no one sees you do it. Because someone Higher and All-Powerful does see you, and he will reward you at the right time.
  3. Patience. Success is not about fast fame; it’s about slow and steady wins the race. We’ve lost the art of waiting.
  4. Honor. Success is about doing something well, and about the honor finding you. It’s about detail and beauty and respect and the fine wine that take ages to perfect; it’s about doing something people will talk about for centuries, versus days.
  5. Quiet. Success is about listening to what the rest of the world is too rushed to hear. The whispers of longing, of regret, of ache. Success is about hearing those whispers, and responding to them. One person at a time.


It’s not about us, friends. It’s about something so much, so the question is—How can your particular, amazing story become a candle that leads others home?



My memoir, ATLAS GIRL, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away TWO copies today. Just leave a comment below to win!

From the back cover:

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”


Click HERE for a free excerpt.


I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to:, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

Atlas Girl_700x175_2

ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

Summer Reading: Fly A Little Higher

The story moved me before I even read it.

Zach Sobiech, just a typical teenage boy living a not-so-typical teenage life.


Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered One Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way is Laura Sobiech’s story of watching her son live his last days.  Zach and his entire family chose to make their tragedy not about themselves but about how they could inspire others (they understood their CLOUT).

Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting and didn’t really lose.”  Once you read this one, I think you’ll agree that Zach reached that goal and then some.


I have a copy of the book to give away.

In the comments, share with us the story of someone you know who in spite of personal tragedy has stayed focusing on loving and serving others. 

I’ll pick a winner this Friday, 7/11

Summer Reading Plan: A Fruitful Life


Eric Bryant has a new project that just released called A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be.

Eric serves at Gateway Church in Austin, and previously he served at Mosaic in Los Angeles. His previous book is called Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World (also known as Peppermint-Filled Pinatas).

I had the chance to ask Eric a little more about this new project:

Jenni: What is A Fruitful Life all about?

Eric: According to Jesus, we have unlimited capacity to influence others spiritually. No matter what we’ve experienced or what we regret or where we are from, in Christ’s Kingdom we can become fruitful – transformed and transforming the lives of others.

Derived from Jesus’ parable of the soils, A Fruitful Life will help you with the following:

  • Discover your calling.
  • Make decisions using a grid for hearing God’s voice
  • Overcome the most painful moments of life.
  • Make progress in areas where you are most tempted.
  • Experience renewal and bring change to others.

Jenni: In working with leaders, I often help them find their place to make a difference. What are some of the insights you share that can help people find their niche?

Eric: Sometimes we make simple things complicated. Jesus explained that if we can avoid being like the first three soils, we could have a life that is described as fruitful. In other words, if we can learn to be receptive (hearing God’s voice), tenacious (not give up on what we know we should do), and intentional (avoiding distractions), we will be who we’ve always wanted to be.

Applying the Scriptures to our life and developing the skills derived from the parable of the soils really is life-changing. I have seen God do remarkable things in my life, in the lives of others who went through this material in small groups, and in the lives of those who experienced the material in the context of a retreat or sermon series. When we are spiritually receptive, tenacious, intentional, and proactive, we are in the right place for God to work in our lives and through our lives.

Jenni: What makes this project different from others?

Eric: Like you, I am fascinated by creativity and innovation, so it was important to me to share this message in a unique, fun, and helpful way. By teaming with the Snippet App, we are offering something that is far more interactive than a paperback and much more than an e-book. Each Snippet in this series includes videos and other discoverables, plus the ability to interact with each other.

Jenni: You mentioned to me that you have a special offer for those who frequent my blog.

Eric: I do! I appreciate your leadership and your message to the world so much!

10 people in your audience will win the entire series. Here’s how: download for free A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be and be sure to check out the last chapter on how to become a winner of the next four snippets in the series.

Jenni: Thanks so much! Congratulations on this project!

More on Eric:

Dr. Eric Michael Bryant serves with Gateway Church in Austin as the team leader for Central and South Austin and as part of the teaching team. Known for their mottos: “no perfect people allowed” and “come as you are, but don’t stay that way.”

Eric coaches church planters and campus pastors, teaches on Post Christian Ministry, and leads a cohort for a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness through Bethel Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership. More on these opportunities can be found here.

Summer Reading Plan: What Life Are You Waiting For?



This week’s summer reading is Pastor Pete Hise’s new book, What Life Are You Waiting For?

What Life Are You Waiting For Book Promo from Quest Community Church on Vimeo.

Pete is one of those guys who lives what he teaches.  His belief in the life-changing power of God will compel you and challenge you to take the transformational adventure that he believes God has called you to.  This book will push you to ask tough questions, grapple with unresolved heart issues and, most importantly, compel you to ‘push play’ on life.


If you’re interested in winning a copy, share with us in the comments one adventure you’re taking this summer.

Happy Monday!