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.
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.
- 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
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.
You might be one prayer away from a rescue.