11 Key Attributes of Great Leadership

Post by Scott Williams, from BigistheNewSmall.com

There are many attributes that various leaders possess, many of them positive and unfortunately some not so positive. People are looking for particular attributes in leaders they want to work for. Leaders that possess these attributes generally have a positive, healthy work environment with minimal turnover.

Below are 11 Key Attributes People Are Looking For In a Leader. We will creatively title them:

11 Key Attributes Of Great Leadership

1. Honesty – Tell the truth; even if lying is easier – tell the truth. || “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson
2. Integrity – Do what’s right; even if nobody is watching – do what’s right. || “There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics.” ~Mahatma Gandhi and I will add an 8th “Leadership without integrity.”
3. Visionary – Have some vision for where you’re going; empower your team to get you there and if you don’t do anything else – have some vision for where you are going. || “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson
4. Self Awareness – Know who you are; the good, the bad and the ugly, know who you are. || “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ~Lao Tzu
5. Risk Taker – Be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas; even if the ideas aren’t yours – be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas. || “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Harold R. McAlindon
6. Caring – Truly care about those you lead; people can care less about how much you know until they know how much you care – truly care about those you lead. || “Our love is like the misty rain that falls softly, but floods the river…” ~African Proverb
7. Stand For Something – Lead by convictions; know why you do what you do and why you think what you think – lead by convictions. || “You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions.” ~Denis Waitley
8. Spirit Of Development – Develop other leaders; without leadership development, the pipeline of leadership is halted – develop other leaders. || “My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.” ~Jack Welch
9. Good Listener – Be willing to listen; if you’re always talking, there is a good chance you are not listening – be willing to listen. || “To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation” ~Chinese Proverb
10. Lifetime Leaner – Learn from anything and everything; no matter how many degrees or titles you have, you always have the capacity to learn – learn from anything and everything. || “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~John F. Kennedy
11. Humility – Stay level-headed and don’t think that you’re better than others; no matter how much success, praise or fortune you receive, stay level-headed and don’t think that you’re better than others. || “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” ~St. Augustine

View the original post HERE.

Where is the Church?

The Summit is challenging leaders across the US to take steps of faith. The stories we’ve heard from these leaders is having a multiplying effect, and we would love to share one of those stories with you from our friends at Crossroads Christian Church in Newburgh, Indiana.

Crossroads is a church committed to serving and witnessing across the globe. In 1994, 48 members of Crossroads went abroad to Kharkiv, Ukraine to begin a journey of becoming more involved with a community of believers. After a 10 year relationship and strategic partnership, Crossroads determined to continue on the same trajectory, and to expand their efforts to reach other communities in North Africa and Central Asia. The desire and the intent was there, but the practical steps of how to connect with more communities internationally had yet to be determined.
In 2006, the Crossroads Leadership team attended the Global Leadership Summit in South Barrington and heard Bono’s interview with Bill Hybels.

“We became extraordinarily convicted during Bono’s presentation about the needs in Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, Bono identified all these needs and the suffering and asked the question, ‘Where is the Church?’”

This question stirred up conversation among Crossroads’ leadership and elder teams that night, compelling them to take action and to take the practical steps to determine where to focus their energies for new international partnerships.

Crossroads identified two ministries, Young Life Africa and Africa Hope as a part of the next steps of Crossroads’ international partnerships.

Today, these partnerships have not only had an impact on both the international community and the members of Crossroads, but school classes are also incorporating lessons of international culture and students are broadening their understanding of the world. Students are raising funds for water projects in Kenya and Skyping kids across the globe.

God is using the Summit to inspire a Grander Vision. Have you been inspired by the Summit to take a leap of faith?

View the original post on FollowtheGLS.com

4 Leadership Insights from Bill Hybels

Post from Churchleaders.com, by Dave Ferguson

In the opening session of the 2010 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels went back to the basics and asked: “What do leaders do?” “What are the fundamentals of leadership?” Rather than delve into new leadership territory, Hybels decided to go back to the drawing board and give us some new insights on the basics of leadership. Hybels, who is a brilliant student of leadership went on to give the following four answers to those questions.

1. Leaders Move People From Here To There.

This is not just about the vision-thing. I used to think the first step for any leader is to cast a vision. Years of experience have shown me that is not the case because even after casting the most compelling vision some people will respond, “Bill, we really like here better than there.”

The first step play is not to make “there” sound phenomenal, the first play is to make “here” sound horrific and intolerable. We must build a strong case for why we can not stay put and why that will be disastrous.

2. Leaders Need To Identify Fantastic People.

When looking for fantastic people to be on your team start with the three C’s: character, chemistry and competency. However, lately I have been thinking about adding a fourth C: culture. Culture asks the question “Will they fit in around here?” Access your culture and write down

3. Leaders Need Create Mile Markers and Celebrations.

In a marathon it is not the first few miles that are a struggle; it is easy to get off to a good start. The last few miles are not as challenging because the finish line is now in sight. The hardest part of the journey is are the long miles in between. What is needed: First, re-fill the vision bucket. The vision leaks over the miles and it needs to be re-filled. Secondly, is celebration for what you have accomplished. A celebration is not just for the finish line, but also along the way. There is a 40% differential in productivity between an inspired and an uninspired staff worker.

4. Leaders Need To Hear Whispers From God.

God still speaks. Go still speaks to us everyday! You are not meant to do this alone. The smartest leadership moves I have made did not come from human wisdom. Ask yourself, “Do you think God still speaks?” If he does still speak, then what are you doing to hear from him everyday?

View the original post from ChurchLeaders.com

Sallie Krawcheck on Personal Branding

Screen shot 2015-02-20 at 10.36.31 AMWillow Creek Association is pleased to announce that Sallie Krawcheck, former President at Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management, will be joining us at The Global Leadership Summit in 2015.  Known for her integrity and independent thinking in the midst of a turbulent industry, she currently leads Ellevate – a network of more than 30,000 professional women around the globe.  She has more than 800,000 followers on LinkedIn and blogs on that platform as a LinkedIn Influencer.  Below is a recent post she wrote on “Personal Branding”. View original post.

Personal Branding 101

The topic of “personal branding” is an uncomfortable one for many of us: “Me? A personal brand? That’s not what I’m about.” Or “A personal brand? Me? I’m not a branding person….or a social media person.” Or “Me? I don’t like to talk about myself; I prefer to let my work speak for itself.”

But just so we’re all clear: we all have a personal brand, whether we want one or not, whether we like it or not. Either you can shape it, or you can have someone else define it for you.

But….before defining your personal brand comes defining your professional mission. This can be the really hard part. What matters to you? What are you trying to accomplish? Why do you do it? Without understanding what matters to you, it’s hard to craft a brand.

Make sure it rings true. “My specialty is to turn consumer businesses around” really only works if you’re actually good at turning consumer businesses around, and have the facts to prove it.

So test your brand with your “personal board of directors” and get their feedback on it.….and on yourself and your work performance. This is the only way to make sure you’re on target. (Special note: we women receive less feedback at work than the gentlemen do, so we need to ask for that feedback more often.)

Once you’ve defined your personal brand, just say it! “My specialty is to turn consumer businesses around.” “I’m an expert in sticky compliance issues.” If it resonates, others will begin to say it about you as well. What doesn’t work well: “I’m good at a lot of things.”

Say it in a story. People remember stories much better than they remember bullet points or statistics. What were the challenges of the businesses you turned around? How did you and your team tackle them? What were the keys to the turnaround?

What if your personal brand is not what you think it is, or would like it to be?Bridge that gap by gaining experience in new areas, accentuating certain expertise, or describing your work history with a different slant.

Own your mistakes and failures. They make up part of your experience, so make them part of your brand. What did you learn from your stumbles? How did they make you better at what you do? You might want to ignore the tougher times, but leaving them out could mean your brand lacks some credibility.

Use social media to shape your brand (if it’s appropriate for your job). Boy, can this be powerful. Write or tweet about a handful of things that define your interests and expertise. Do not engage in everything under the sun that you find to be of interest.

BE the brand. Don’t just say it. Be it, live it, embody it, in and out of the workplace. Use these guiding values in your work and home life, and to make the tough decisions.(2)

It’s ok for your personal brand to shift as you gather experiences. And it should. It’s a constant work in progress.

Read the full post HERE.

An Inside Look at the 2015 Summit Faculty

We are just about finished securing our faculty for this year’s Summit, and we wanted to give you an inside look at a few of the faculty members who we have confirmed.

Joining Bill Hybels this year will be:



Jim Collins

Nationally Acclaimed Business Thinker; Best–selling Author Good to Great




Sallie Krawcheck

Chair, Ellevate Network; Former President, Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management




Brian Houston

Founder and Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church



We’re thrilled with this year’s faculty and look forward to releasing the full line–up to you in the coming weeks.

Can you guess who else will be a part of the Summit Faculty this August? Tell us in the comments section below!

How “Bandwidth” Can Expand Your Leadership

Post by Scott Cochrane

Bocolod-2Recently I completed a two week leadership coaching trip with Bill Hybels, who was building into leaders from Hong Kong to New Delhi. One teaching in particular left an indelible mark in my own leadership.

How broad is the bandwidth of your leadership?

That question might have been the most impacting of all of the leadership challenges posed by Bill Hybels on our 2015 leadership coaching tour in Asia.

A leader had been attempting to nail Bill down on a “this or that” kind of leadership question.

“Should I be a tough-minded leader or more of a relational leader?” he had asked.

Bill quickly responded with a much better leadership perspective.

“What you should really be focusing on,” Bill began, “Is ‘What is my elasticity as a leader?

I’m talking about your bandwidth as a leader. For every growing leader this is a huge concept to master.”

As Bill went on to explain, I was busily taking notes.

“The bandwidths of leadership refers to the tension leaders must constantly monitor in various leadership situations.

You need to know when to be passionate, and when to be dispassionate.

When to be clear, and when to be ambiguous.

When to launch, and when to delay. These are all questions of a leader’s bandwidth.”

And that, I noted to myself, was a masterful leadership insight.

All too often leaders try to let themselves off the leadership hook by reducing leadership to a set of formulas or simplistic extremes. “Leaders must be tough”, one leader will say. “Leaders must be quick to act” another will declare.

But for growing, leaders, Bill reminded us, effectiveness lies in the nuances in between. They recognize that some situations, some seasons, and some people, require leadership that is quick to act, decisive and blindingly clear.

At other times, in other seasons, and perhaps for other people, leadership requires patience, seasoning, even a bit of ambiguity.

Here are the key points I scrawled on my notepaper that day.

1). Leadership can never be reduced to a set of inflexible formulas

2). Leadership requires the ability to read a situation and respond to its unique circumstances

3). Leadership is much more fluid an art than it is an exact science

Keep these concepts firmly in mind, and your leadership bandwidth can experience tremendous elasticity, and effectiveness.

How broad is your leadership bandwidth?

View Scott’s original post HERE.

Brené Brown on Blame

Here is a fun video from Brené Brown on Blame.

You are probably a bit of a blamer – most of us are. But why should we give it up? In this witty sequel to the most watched RSA Short, inspirational thinker Brené Brown considers why we blame others, how it sabotages our relationships, and why we desperately need to move beyond this toxic behaviour.

View the original RSA video HERE.

Just In: Summit 2015 Speaker Leak

Screen shot 2015-02-16 at 12.53.17 PMWillow Creek Association is pleased to announce that Summit favorite Jim Collins, nationally acclaimed business speaker and author, will be joining us for the 6th time at The Global Leadership Summit 2015. Known for his well-researched insights into the practices of great leaders, his current work was described in a recent issue of Inc. Magazine.

The Re-Education of Jim Collins

The author of “Good to Great” went to West Point to teach leadership. Instead, he was the one who got schooled.

Post by Bo Burlingham, Editor at Large, Inc.

It was a warm, late summer afternoon on the banks of the Hudson River, and a large contingent of cadets had gathered in the Hayes Gymnasium on the campus of the United States Military Academy. Dressed in gray T-shirts and black shorts, they had come to train for the Academy’s grueling Indoor Obstacle Course Test (universally known as the IOCT), which involves jumping through tires, climbing ropes, swinging on monkey bars, leaping over barriers, running along a balance beam, and sprinting around a track with a medicine ball, among other physical feats. Cadets say it is one of the hardest parts of a West Point education.

On one side of the gym, a group of cadets watched an older, gray-haired man trying to mount a shelf 8 feet above the ground. He was Jim Collins, the best-selling business-book author who was visiting West Point to hold seminars on leadership. “No, sir,” a cadet said to him. “You don’t want to do it like that, sir. You look like an old man, sir. You need to do it this way.”

“I am an old man!” Collins murmured. Then, he tried it again.

Why was the author of such business classics as Built to Last and Good to Great competing with college students less than half his age? For one thing, Collins, 55, is an avid climber and seldom shies from a physical challenge. (For his 50th birthday, he had scaled the 2,900-foot vertical rockface known as The Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.) But what Collins really wanted was the opportunity to interact with cadets, to experience what they experience. With that in mind, he had set himself the goal of completing the course in the same time required of all male cadets before they can graduate–three and a half minutes or less. So he was grateful that West Point’s rock-climbing team had turned out to coach him.

Glancing around the gym, Collins could see numerous other cadets struggling with various obstacles; some of them were not much farther along than he was. Most of them had at least one or two other cadets standing nearby, coaching, critiquing, and cheering on their compatriots.

That struck Collins as interesting. (Read Full Article)

The Art of Self Leadership

Post by Bill Hybels

Your toughest management challenge is always yourself. 

Imagine a compass—north, south, east, and west. Almost every time the word leadership is mentioned, in what direction do leaders instinctively think?


Say the word leadership and most leaders’ minds migrate to the people who are under their care. At leadership conferences, people generally think, “I’m going to learn how to improve my ability to lead the people God has entrusted to me.”

South. It’s a leader’s first instinct.

But many people don’t realize that to lead well, you need to be able to lead in all directions—north, south, east and west.

For example, good leaders have to lead north—those who are over you. You can’t just focus on those entrusted to your care. Through relationship and influence good leaders lead the people over them. Much of what I do at Willow Creek, through relationship, prayer, and careful envisioning, is to try to influence those over me—the board and the elders.

Effective leaders also learn how to lead east and west, laterally, in peer group settings. If you don’t learn how to lead laterally, if you don’t know how to create win-win situations with colleagues, the whole culture can deteriorate.

So a leader must lead down, up, and laterally. But perhaps the most overlooked leadership challenge is the one in the middle. Who is your toughest leadership challenge?


Consider 1 Samuel 30. David, the future king of Israel, is a young emerging leader at the time. He is just learning to lead his troops into battle. He’s green. But God is pouring his favor on David, and most of the time the battles go his way. One terrible day though, that pattern changes. After returning home from fighting yet another enemy, David and his men discover soldiers have attacked and destroyed their campsite, dragged off the women and children, and burned all their belongings.

This would define “bad day” for any leader! But it’s not over. His soldiers are tired, angry, and worried sick about their families. They’re miffed at God. A faction of his men spreads word that they’ve had it with David’s leadership. They figure it’s all David’s fault, and they decide to stone him to death.

In this crisis David’s leadership is severely tested. Suddenly, he has to decide who needs leadership the most. His soldiers? The officers? The faction?

His answer? None of the above.

In this critical moment he realizes a foundational truth: he has to lead himself before he can lead anybody else. Unless he is squared away internally he has nothing to offer his team. So “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). Only then does he lead his team to rescue their families and what’s left of their belongings.

David understood the importance of self-leadership. And although self-leadership isn’t talked about much, make no mistake, it is a good part of the ballgame. How effectively can any of us lead others if our spirits are sagging, our courage is wavering, and our vision or commitment is weak?

Last summer I read an article that created some disequilibrium for me. The author, Dee Hock, challenged leaders to calculate how much time and energy they invest in each of these directions—people beneath them, over them, peers, and leading themselves. Since he’s been thinking and writing about leadership for over 20 years and is a laureate in the Business Hall of Fame, I wanted his wisdom.

His recommendation: “We should invest 50 percent of our leadership amperage into the task of leading ourselves; and the remaining 50 percent should be divided into leading down, leading up, and leading laterally.” His numbers bothered me so much I put the article away. But I let it simmer, which is my normal practice when someone messes with my mind.

View the original post by Bill Hybels on Christianity Today.