From Exhausted to Energized :: An Excerpt from “Simplify” by Bill Hybels


Below is an excerpt from Bill Hybels’ brand-new book, Simplify. Adapted from a series he taught at Willow Creek Community Church last fall, this book presents ten practices to help unclutter your soul. We’re also giving away 5 copies today, enter to win at the bottom of the article.

A good portion of my work these days involves coaching and men- toring leaders, both here in the United States and around the world. Increasingly, whether I’m speaking with leaders at home or abroad, at Willow Creek or in other circles of my life, I hear the same words repeated over and over: exhausted, overwhelmed, overscheduled, anxious, isolated, dissatisfied. It’s a bipartisan issue—young and old, rich and poor, professionals and parents, women and men, Republicans and Democrats. And it’s a global issue—I’ve heard these words in English and in countless foreign languages.

It was startling to hear these words so often. I began to realize that, as leaders and Christ followers, we needed to address this situation. So whenever I had a chance, I began openly discussing burnout, stress, and dissatisfaction. My gut told me the topics might strike a chord with people, because they certainly struck a chord with me.

I grossly underestimated the impact.

As I explored the concerns that leave people feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and exhausted, and as I sought to formulate a framework for how to tackle the diverse complexities of these issues, I began using the term simplify. How do we simplify our lives? The term stuck. The very word seemed to energize people.

Perhaps they hoped I would unveil a closely held secret, a key to the universe that would help them uncomplicate their frazzled lives. Perhaps they assumed I was well beyond these issues in my own experience and hoped I might whisk some crumbs of wisdom off the mahogany table of my life into their waiting and eagerly cupped hands.

Not so! Those who know me well can tell you I’ve spent the major- ity of my adult life wrestling with the same dark swarm of words I’ve lately been hearing from leaders across the globe. I am nowhere near immune. I know far too much about being overwhelmed and over- scheduled and exhausted. I know all too well what it feels like to be anxious, dissatisfied, wounded, and spent. As I’ve talked about these issues, I have been both a student and a teacher, to be sure. You’ll see in the pages you’re about to read that I’m a serious fellow learner on the topic of simplifying our lives.

I am not naturally inclined to lead a simple life. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to the calling God has entrusted to me—not just at work, but also with my family, the relationships I invest in, the recreation I need for my mental health, and the travel my work requires.

I don’t foresee my life slowing to a lounge-by-the-pool pace anytime soon, if ever. Can you relate?

Simplified living is about more than doing less. It’s being who God called us to be, with a wholehearted, single-minded focus. It’s walking away from innumerable lesser opportunities in favor of the few to which we’ve been called and for which we’ve been created. It’s a lifestyle that allows us, when our heads hit the pillow at night, to reflect with gratitude that our day was well invested and the varied responsibilities of our lives are in order.

If we don’t change how we live, our overcomplicated world will begin to feel frighteningly normal. We will become accustomed to life at a frantic pace, no longer able to discriminate between the important and the unessential. And that’s the danger: When we frit- ter away our one and only life doing things that don’t really matter, we sacrifice the things that do matter. Through more misses than hits, I have experienced the high cost of allowing my life to get out of control. My desire is to spare you some of the pain of learning these lessons as I did—the hard way.

What if your life could be different? What if you could be certain you were living the life God called you to live and building a legacy for those you love? If you crave a simpler life anchored by the priorities that matter most, roll up your sleeves: Simplified living requires more than just organizing your closets or cleaning out your desk drawer. It requires uncluttering your soul. By examining core issues that lure you into frenetic living, and by eradicating the barriers that leave you exhausted and overwhelmed, you can stop doing the stuff that doesn’t matter and build your life on the stuff that does.

In my experience, a handful of key practices are vital to keeping my soul clutter-free. These practices help me overcome the barriers that keep me from living the life “to the full” that Jesus promises in John 10:10. In each chapter of this book, I invite you to examine one of these practices, assess what Scripture has to say about it, hold up a mirror to your own life, and then take action.

There are no shortcuts to simplified living. Untangling yourself from the overscheduled, overwhelming web of your current life is not for the faint of heart. It’s honest, rigorous work. As I tell leaders whenever I speak on the subject, action is required.

I can tell you from my own experience that simplifying your life will produce immediate rewards. Each day will have a clear purpose, and each relationship will receive the investment it’s due. And with- out the needless clutter clanging around in your soul, you’ll be able to hear—and respond to—each whisper from God.

This is what I know: Change is possible. Whether you’re teetering on the edge of a cluttered collapse or you’re just starting to realize that some minor life adjustments are in order, you can simplify. You may well have to simplify to live the life God is inviting you to live. As you begin to implement these key practices, they will become habits that create simplified days, then months, then years, and eventually a lifetime that brings satisfaction and fulfillment. Making these course corrections will produce a life you’ll be glad to have lived when you look in the rearview mirror.

You’ve been warned: This process is not for the faint of heart. Action on your part is required. Still game? Let’s dive in.

Read More of Chapter 1 and Purchase Your Copy of Simplify Today

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GLS 2014 Session 8 | Louie Giglio

by Chuck Scoggins

Louie1

Doorposts in the Kingdom of God: Humility & Honor

Reflecting on “the summit.”
“What is your mountain?”
What are the heights you want to attend? Who do you want to take with you?

A lot of times I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m not going to let that keep God for doing something great!

Sometimes you’re just trying to lead…but you just – don’t – know – what – to – do.

You don’t have to know everything about getting up the mountain ahead of you to know how to take the next step.

1. Life is short.

Most people don’t feel a great sense of urgency about the great things of life.

What is it that God wants you to accomplish in this life?

2. God is big.

The entirety of life is about the fame and the glory of the person of Jesus Christ. Knowing it’s all about him is the most important thing I can know about life.

3. Take the next step.

Whatever your next step is, you can do it. But you can’t unless God does it in you.

The Passion Movement was born out of a dark season in Louie’s life (the death of his father).

In 1964 Louie’s dad made the Chick-fil-a logo. In Jan 2014 he spoke to 64,000 students at the Passion which was on top of the Chick-fil-a logo on the field because of a football game a few days before.

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” ― A.W. Tozer

“We rest because what we do depends on God. Not on us!” ← Why Passion City Church takes some Sundays off.
It is a luxury to do some types of things, but it is a calling to make Jesus famous.

Humility is what makes great leaders.

God’s grace is sufficient for you. In our weakness, WE are made strong.

GLS 2014 Session 7 | Ivan Satyavrata: “The Power Paradox”

by Chuck Scoggins

Ivan1

The church Ivan pastors reaches 4,000 attendees in eight language sections each week and runs an outreach that provides education and basic nutrition to thousands of children in the city slums.
There is no institution as a planet as vitally connected like the church.
The whisper of God will grow into a crescendo so everyone in the world can hear God’s voice.

The Power Paradox of Leadership

Leaders manage power. It’s what they use to make things happen. To be sure, often the power is mismanaged/abused.

There is no such thing as leadership without power.

Paradox – a concept/reality that combines seemingly contradictory propositions.
Example: John 12:1-15 – Jesus knows all things are under his power. Yet he becomes a vulnerable servant. Absolute power alongside absolute vulnerability.

The knowledge of Christ is the ultimate power.

How do I use my power in Christ without being abusive or coercive.

How am I stewarding my knowledge power?

Leading like Jesus means holding a scepter of power in one hand and a basin and towel in the other.

People power – We need to love people. Jesus refused to manipulate people.

Kingdom power

For Jesus, love was a costly commitment for the good and well-being of the others.

The greatest responsibility of a leader is to create a safe place for people to soar to new heights.

We boldly invade the darkness… For we dare not do otherwise.

The power we possess as leaders resides in jars of clay. The best leaders are ones who realize that their power comes from God.

Is the world becoming a better place because of your power?

GLS 2014 Session 7 | Tyler Perry: Imagination and Leadership

by Laura Ortberg Turner

Tyler

His background is remarkable, and his empire now is sizable. But Tyler Perry’s gifts lie in both leadership and creativity, and Bill Hybels asked him about that.

“I had a lot of trauma, and I had to use my imagination a lot [as a child]. I escaped into it,” Perry said, and he also recounted understanding his ambition at a young age, ambition that outpaced his father’s job building houses to want to be the one who owned the house. The leadership and the creativity go hand-in-hand, from his childhood on. When it comes to nurturing the creative side, one of the best things he can do is dedicate a specific amount of time to his artistic side–split his time, essentially–and then do what he needs to do for his business the other days of the week.

Bill: When you go to write, what do you do to push your creativity to new levels?

The first thing I want to do, and it’s the same in my prayer life as it is in my business life, is to clear the noise. I need to be able not to just write a story that will entertain, Perry said, but to leave people with a message they can understand and take home and be helped.

Bill: I was blown away by the size of your campus when I went to visit. The guy who showed me around said he had worked for you for six years, and then told me he wished he could work for you for the rest of his life. How do you inspire people to that degree?

You know, ever since I was young I’ve been told I would never make it–you’re black, you’re poor, the system is designed to be against you. So when I created that world in Atlanta, I wanted a place where all underdogs could come in and know they are welcomed. And sometimes I will pass up hiring a more-qualified person with the wrong attitude and hire the less-qualified person with the better attitude. I think you can feel that there.

Bill: You said, “It takes an enormous amount of energy to get through abuse or violence. But it takes the same amount of energy to forgive the wrongdoer. You don’t just flip a switch.”

Exactly. The amount of energy it took to go through that betrayal, abuse, hurt–that is the amount it will take for you to forgive the person who hurt you. The anger at that person–in my case, his father–is the fuel that moves you along in your life. Forgiveness is scary because you give up the hope of your past ever being any different. But it is the most freeing thing you can ever do for yourself. The person you have not forgiven is going about your life, most of the time, and not thinking about you. They do not deserve to have that kind of power over you.

Bill: We’re meeting together today while there’s an ongoing set of racial tensions in our country. What’s your take on that?

You know, I hope that every generation will get a little better than the one before. My mom had certain neighborhoods I wasn’t allowed to be in when I was growing up in New Orleans, and when I moved, I saw how much bigger the world was than I had realized. I wish that people would start to realize that all our struggles and difficulties are the same, and in time I’m hoping things will be totally different.

Bill: How do you deal with your critics? Does it still have a sting for you?

You know, there was a show I did in Los Angeles where I saw two critics in the audience, their faces all screwed up, writing their notes. One of them said it was one of the worst shows they’d ever seen; the other one said it was one of the best shows. It was then that I realized that it’s always going to be about them–not about me–and what I try to remember is that there are people I hear from who have had great experiences with and because of my work. The Bible talks about God preparing a table in the presence of our enemies. I don’t expect them to say a lot of nice things about me, but they are there. Watch me eat.

Bill: You came from not much money and now you’re awash in it. You have a heart for philanthropy now, clearly–you give a lot. What drives that?

I am my mother’s son. She gave a lot. She didn’t have a lot of money to give, but she got people into our house who didn’t have a place to stay. My first year of making money, I had so much guilt about making money I gave it all away. Then, I realized money wasn’t guilt-inducing, but could do a lot of good for a lot of people. I started to want to focus more on the people I could help and take care of, so that’s what I do now.

Bill: You’ve said that you have a tough time participating in a local church. Tell us more about that.

Well, when Forbes prints how much you make, there’s a level of expectation around how much you are going to give. When you feel like a number rather than a soul that needs work, that makes it hard to be there. Plenty of people put little notes in my hand–”God told me you’re my husband,” things like that. And I’m not going to be rude to people when I am with them, so sometimes it’s easier to stay home and watch online. It makes me sad to forsake the assembly, and I wish that in this age of social media we could give people some privacy and let them come and lay down and lay hands on us and be just like another member of the church.

Bill: So when you think about thirty years from now, what do you want your legacy to be?

I think Maya Angelou said it best – just knowing that I made people feel good was a blessing.

GLS 2014 Session 6 | Three Perspectives: What Does Faith Do for Leadership?

by Laura Ortberg Turner

Bill’s introduction began with the confession that “I’ve dreamed of this session for a decade.” These are three leaders who have come to the Summit to talk about the integration of faith and work: Pastor Wilfredo De Jesús, Ugandan Comissioner General Allen Catherine Kagina, and businessperson Don Flow.

Their presentations differed greatly in ways that were really helpful for the different kinds of people watching–people in businesses, people concerned with their families, people involved in international work, and church workers.

 

Don Flow, Chairman and CEO, Flow Inc.

DonFlow

1. How does your faith affect every aspect of your business? 

Work is a place that Christ has called me to, to exercise faith, live love, and bring hope. The first way I do this is the act of exercising faith and trusting that God is at work in our midst every day. It cannot be just theory–it means I deeply believe and trust that when I go to work, God is there.

Love is what should animate Christian leaders–it means serving alongside people, not just exercising authority over them. There is a direct correlation between intimacy with Christ and my ability to love in my daily life. I’m called to be a person of truth; to be trustworthy and full of grace. Plenty of leaders are graceful, but not truthful–or truthful, but not graceful. Christ showed us that we can do both, and as Flow said, “my company will never be more truthful or graceful than I am.”

The culture of the organization is a powerful current. It can be toxic, or it can be life-enhancing. Flow’s company has committed to things like a company emergency fund that any employee can apply for. They take on projects in their community to serve the people around them–there’s some project going on every month at every location, and employees are paid for volunteering at local non-profits. The hope is that this will help re-weave the frayed fabric of the tapestry of this world into what it was meant to be.

2. What should business look like in the fullest sense?

Going back to the story of Genesis, we think of a world where all creativity would have enhanced life. Where every person’s gift would have been utilized, transactions would have left all parties satisfied, and wealth would have spilled out to benefit everybody. The world may not be what it was in the Garden, but the renewal of the world began in Christ and we get to participate in that. We need to be people who seek the restoration of good and plenty in every place it confronts us in the world.

3. How would you describe the metric you use to evaluate employees?

We use an acronym called SERVE:

Show respect. Respect is a given right, not an earned favor. There are no little people, and there is no insignificant work.

Earn trust. Demonstrate a commitment to the flourishing of the person. Tell the truth. Commit to the success of each person.

Reach for perfection. We have the capacity to imagine the future, and it’s our responsibility to continually challenge what the organizational future looks like. Challenge without confidence creates fear, and confidence without challenge creates complacency. And we have to be people of second chances, since we will never achieve perfection.

Value input. Engage everyone in the process and listen to different/differing opinions.

Energize others. Purpose, significance, and community energize organizations. Leaders and companies need goals, meaning, and a deep sense of belonging.

 

Allen Catherine Kagina, Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority

Allen

It is predicted that most countries in Africa will reach Middle Class status–$1,000 per person per year–by 2025. It is portrayed poorly by the media, and is the best place for investment in the world right now–the ROI is through the roof. But Africa is still listed as the poorest inhabited continent on the planet. Why is a place that is doing so well still so poor?

In 2004, Kagina took the job that she now holds. “I was naive enough to believe that God could change anything,” she said, “including this organization that had been known as a den of thieves.” There wasn’t enough money to fund government programs that are so important for Ugandan children, and Kagina’s background was in psychology and administration, not business. But, as she said, “Once you bring God into the marketplace, he doesn’t know the division between church and politics. We are the ones who build these walls.”

She started out with a determination for competence and integrity in the URA, which started by asking everyone in the URA to re-apply for their jobs. They did six months of interviews and let go of five hundred people–a quarter of their workforce–and became a much “cleaner, more competent organization…things like this have to be done if you want to get rid of corruption.”

They then went to the taxpayers and asked some of them what they wanted from the URA. “We want to serve you. Up to this point, all you’ve known is corruption. What can we do to serve you?” As a response to those answers, the URA now offers services online. They offer tax education to people who had been unsure of what they needed to do. Their teams also went out to schools in the community to serve them. “God has invaded the tax authority,” Kagina said, and revenue has grown by 317% in the last ten years. “I am convinced we are not a poor nation,” she said. The URA is now sending people out from its ranks to head businesses, to work for the World Bank, to do things they never would have been able to do when their primary reputation was corruption. “If we will invite the kingdom of God into public areas, into business, into some churches…I believe that God will take over and we’ll begin to see better societies.”

 

Wilfredo De Jesús, Senior Pastor, New Life Covenant Church

Wilfredo

“We cannot allow prayer to be a crutch not to do anything.” After being approached by the Chicago police chief over what to do about the city’s human trafficking problems, de Jesús looked for months for a place that these women could come to live after they had been taken out of their earlier situations. “Once the moral conviction of your community has been confused to you, you must move to action.”

There are gaps, he reminds us, all over our country, and they are wider and more destructive today than they have been in the past. To work on filling them in, you have to engage your entire community as your church. Jesus sat with the lost, ate with them, talked with them, and that’s what the gospel is about. We have to go towards the people who our sinful nature sometimes makes us want to avoid. Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem, and when he found out they weren’t doing so well, he was moved to responsibility. Revelation, after all, leads to responsibility. So what did Nehemiah do?

  • He prayed. He saw the gap and he prayed for the gaps to be closed. Prayer is good, but it has to move us.
  • He planned. What many of us like is the final product, but we don’t like the process.
  • He proceeded to go. This part is the road of sacrifice. Once you have seen a problem, you must act to fill that gap for the glory of God.
  • He persuaded. The moment you decide to stand in the gap, there will always be opposition. Nehemiah wasn’t a priest or a prophet or a king, he was a layperson. The question that Nehemiah asked is relevant today: “How is Jerusalem?” Nehemiah asked. How is Los Angeles? How is Chicago? How is Missouri?

The way that we work and labor has everything to do with who we are as people of faith. Human beings are imbued with a kind of dignity that springs from the image of God; we’re God’s workmanship. God made us as people to work, people with gifts to give to the rest of the world.

GLS 2014 Session 5 | Erica Ariel Fox: “Winning From Within”

by Tommy Bowman

Erica1

So much of leadership and moving vision forward requires negotiation. However, negotiating with others might not be the first problem we are facing. Rather, we tend to get in our own way when it comes to negotiating with other people. We can’t successfully negotiate with others because we haven’t yet learned how to negotiate well with ourselves.

We all have within us four inner negotiators that we must become aware of within ourselves. Secondly, we must know when to lean in to each of these when negotiate with others. Here are our four inner negotiators:

The Dreamer: Creates Possibilities

Sets strategic vision
Senses a path forward
Gives direction

Questions to ask yourself: Is there a dream in you that you have left behind?

The Thinker: Clarifies Perspectives

Analyzes data
Manages risk
Considers consequences

Questions to ask yourself: Can you articulate a business case instead of a moral case?

The Lover: Cares About People

Feels emotions
Manges relationships
Collaborates with others.

Questions to ask yourself: Can you love people even when a transaction isn’t taking place?

The Warrior: Catalyzes Performance

Takes action
Reaches goals
Speaks hard truth

Questions to ask yourself: Are there areas of your life and work that you need to say “no” to?

 

Every one of your inner negotiators is a crucial member of your team. We must win from within first before we can win in our negotiations with others. Winning from within first is vital to our leadership health and performance.

GLS 2014 Session 5 | Joseph Grenny: “Mastering the Art of Crucial Conversations”

by Laura Ortberg Turner

Grenny

“The power of a group is the function of the purity of its motives.”

Are there a few moments of disproportionate influence? Moments that matter more than any others? Grenny started his talk with a story about a boy named Patrick he got to know when Patrick was in Boy Scouts and Grenny was a leader. Patrick dropped out, started doing drugs, and eventually, when they reconnected, ending up stealing from Grenny’s family.

In his research, Grenny has found that there are three dimensions that influence moments more than any others:

  1. The issue is high-stakes to you
  2. You expect someone else to disagree with you
  3. These are moments of strong emotions

The effect of how you behave in these moments carry on long past the moment itself has passed. And how we approach those conversations has everything to do with whether we prepare for and anticipate them.

The Principle of Crucial Conversations

Any time you find yourself stuck, stop and ask: What crucial conversation are we not holding or not holding well? When conversations turn from casual to crucial, we tend to do our worst. We can feel threatened or scared, and our fear affects our behavior. So part of what we need to do is realize that these conversations aren’t things to be avoided. For the most part, we don’t talk it out. We act it out–we betray our thoughts in our actions without ever having the hard conversations that need to be had.

We start to believe at a very young age that we have to choose between telling the truth and keeping a friend. How do you create an environment where the truth isn’t off the table? Crucial conversations held well can become an acceleration to intimacy, and the Bible is full of crucial conversations that accelerates the growth of human beings.

Let’s look at three crucial moments in churches:

1. Performance problems with volunteers or staff
2. Members who are struggling in sin or disconnecting from the church
3. Concerns with pastors

A commitment to crucial conversations is at the core of any organization, team, relationship, church, and so on. As a leader, your job is to identify the two or three areas where crucial conversations need to be had, to have them, and to focus on allowing those conversations to move you forward rather than get you stuck. Your individual influence is primarily a function of how well you are able to have crucial conversations.

One of the most important skills you can develop in order to have crucial conversations well is to identify what needs to be said first. You have two tasks in the “hazardous half-minute,” the first 30 seconds of a crucial conversations. If you do them, there is a great chance (97%, per Grenny’s research) that you will be heard. Not agreed with, but heard. They are:

  1. Help the other party/person know that you care about their interests and goals, almost as much as they do. This creates the condition of mutual purpose. (This won’t work, obviously, if you don’t actually care.)
  2. Create mutual respect–let them know that you care about them. How do you create mutual respect when someone is behaving poorly? Remember that people never get defensive about what you’re saying; they become defensive because of why they think you’re saying it. So take some time to purify your intent beforehand, and remember that your half of the conversation is only about you.

So, back to Patrick. Grenny saw him and ended up talking to him. He told Patrick that he loved him, and looked him in the eyes when he said so. Grenny also said he was going to need to go to the police with the evidence he had of Patrick stealing from them. Patrick knew what needed to happen; knew he needed to go to jail. “But,” he asked Grenny, “Will you be there for me when I get out?” And a friendship was restored.

“I believe there’s a God-ordained purpose to crucial conversations,” Grenny said. Amen.

GLS 2014 Session 4 | Patrick Lencioni: “The Most Dangerous Mistakes Leaders Make”

by Tommy Bowman

 

PatLen

“Superficial things don’t matter. It’s the core things about our leadership that matter.”

What are the core things that we do as leaders that hurt our ability to lead?

1. Becoming a leader for the wrong reason

  • Leaders can be motivated by influence, power and wealth.
  • Leaders don’t want to change the world as much as they want to be known as a leader.
  • Leaders want to sacrifice themselves for the well being of others even when return on investment is not guaranteed.
  • If leaders are leading for themselves they will leave a trail of tears.
  • Leaders should be interested in leadership because it’s good for those around them and not themselves.

2. Failing to embrace vulnerability

  • When a leader fails to be vulnerable they destroy trust with the people they lead.
  • Leaders cannot be too vulnerable as a leader.
  • Leaders don’t need to be perfect, they need to be human.
  • If leaders are not interested in developing themselves, they’re not a leader.
  • Leaders want people to help them.
  • When leaders are genuinely vulnerable people will walk through fire for them.

3. Making leadership too important

  • There comes a point when a leader makes leadership too important.
  • Most of the time we talk about leadership we’re talking about work.
  • A leaders identity can get wrapped up in being a leader.
  • A leaders primary vocation is to serve their spouse and kids. 

4. Its all about pride

  • Humility is the anecdote to pride.
  • In introducing humility, Jesus introduced us to leadership.

GLS 2014 Session 3 | Susan Cain and the Power of Quiet

by Laura Ortberg Turner

SusanCain

“I did my best impression of a bold, gregarious extrovert.”

Susan Cain’s bestselling book Quiet is one of the best things I’ve read in the last year. I’m not an introvert, but I’m married to a man who (thinks he) is. One-third to one-half of the population, Cain says, is introverted–which may sound surprising, but a lot of these people are cultured to act in extroverted ways.

It’s not that introverts don’t want to work for the good of the group, but that introverts would rather work on their own discrete piece of the puzzle and then put the puzzle together at the end.

Introverts and extroverts have different neurobiologies. Introverts feel their most alive and switched on in quiet environments, and extroverts feel bored in those places. These differences can be mapped really early on in life, which psychologists have tested: Baby introverts did better on tests when background music was soft; extroverts did better when the music was turned up. The lesson? There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all environment.

When psychologists look at who have been the most creative people across a variety of fields, they’re usually people who are a mix of introvert and extrovert. They have to have the ability to share ideas and the capacity for solitude. It is helpful to understand why solitude is such an important resource for our organizations…”We are such social creatures,” Cain says “that we end up being inadvertent conformists.” She then showed a video of the 1960s Asch experiment to prove her point:

So, what to do? How do we reclaim solitude in our organizations?

- STOP THE MADNESS of group work. Stop meetings periodically to let people think, write, and process their ideas. Go around the room and hear from everyone, not just the most assertive people in the room.

- FORGET NETWORKING. Focus on service. Look at how you can serve people where it is needed rather than exchange cards and email addresses.

- RESTORE QUIET IN OUR CULTURE. Cain talked to many introverted church members in the research for Quiet. Many of them said they started out in church thinking they were very connected to God, but saw the way the extroverted culture emphasized being social or expressive in ways they weren’t. Elijah found God not in the loud things, but in the small, still voice. We need to make space to listen to that voice.

We can easily think that to be a natural leader means to be an extrovert. But as Jim Collins found it in studying a handful of Fortune 500 companies, there are many great leaders who are also described by their employees as “shy, softspoken, low-key, and quiet.” Many introverts don’t seek leadership for its own sake, but if they are truly passionate about something, that passion goes deep. These people often inspire trust and community, and are put in positions of leadership.

SO…what to do with this knowledge?

— Groom an unlikely leader, following their own natural light and talents.

— Find your complement. “I don’t care if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, a polka dot or a stripe…you don’t do everything perfectly.”

— Find a role model.

Cain’s grandfather was a very shy and modest person, but was a pastor–for 64 years he preached at the same church in Brooklyn, and even toward the end he had trouble making eye contact with people in his congregation. But when he died, the police had to close off the street in front of the apartment where he lived because so many people were congregated outside. That’s a way that an introvert has a faithful presence in a community of people. “I’m here because I really believe that we can transform our churches and families and companies in a way that invites in that still, small voice.”

GLS 2014 Session 2 | Jeffrey Immelt: “Positioning Your Organization for the Future”

by Chuck Scoggins

Jeff1

Don’t delegate the most important thing you’re working on.

“At any point in my career, there has never been a job that is beneath me.” There is no job beneath a leader.

Anyone that says they have a plan to join a huge company and become CEO is a little crazy.  For me it was always about the work.

You peers determine how much you fail or succeed as a leader.
Love work. Be a good friend. Have a little bit of luck…and you’ll be successful. Give more than you take.
It’s hard to tell much about a leader when times are good. It’s pretty easy to see what a leader is made of when times get tough.

Leadership is about setting high standards.

We live in a time where people (we) aren’t going to have the luxury of going backwards (to the 80′s, 90′s, etc…to a time when the world was “easier”). But, that’s okay, because leaders move forward.

People want to know what am I working on? Where are we headed?

There are opportunities out there, but you have to go seize them.

GE spends about a billion dollars a year on leadership training.

There are fundamentals of leadership that don’t change:
Integrity, excellence, commitment to performance.
However, there is a shelf life to most leadership. We have to continually teach it and infuse new leadership into people.
You have to constantly be tuning up your leadership.

Let’s leave fear out of the workplace. Let’s work because I love what I do.

Don’t expect people to have perfect careers. Expect people to learn and get better. Let go of those who have a hard time connecting with the team.
As a leader you’re in the business of giving people confidence.

If you believe in talent and meritocracy, you must believe in diversity. White guys don’t come up with all of the good ideas.

You can empower people with information (especially with the advances in technology). The larger the organization is, the more difficult this can be.

The more we can drive confidence in our society, the better off we’re all going to be.

I don’t come to work to go to a meeting. I come to work to satisfy the customers.

Put decision-makers in the field where they belong.

Start small and start today. Starting is the most important thing!

Things leaders can learn (especially about simplicity) from silicon valley:

1. Less management. Empower the decision makers.  Smaller headquarters.  Less meetings and processes.

2. The Market Rule: We are here to satisfy customers

3. Put things on the clock: start today, just do stuff and try it out

4. Use information and technology to make the company more transparent and connected.

Big companies can easily get lost in their history and live in that.  You have to be willing to blow it up every 5 or 10 years.

Leadership is an intense journey into your self. It’s about how much you’re willing to learn about yourself. How much you’re willing to be exposed. About how much peace you have inside you.