April Webcast: Charles Jenkins

In case you missed this month’s webcast, or in case you need to watch it again, we’re glad to post it here for you. In this webcast, Charles Jenkins, senior pastor at the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, talks with Jim Mellado about thriving in change. You can read more on the topic in Pastor Jenkins’ book Thriving in Change.

Here are a few of our notes. We’d love to see your favorite quotes in the comments below or on Twitter (use the hash tag #wcawebcast to see the whole stream).

    “There is applied change and basic change – basic change is just change for change’s sake. Applied change is change with a needed necessary end result.”
    “I knew I needed to start at the concept…what’s the destination? I couldn’t get people there if the destination wasn’t clear.”
    “Honor people with one-on-one conversations. It’s critical to help resistant people process the changes. The goal with early adopters is to create advocates, but with the resisters your goal is to help them find neutrality.”
    “When it comes to change, often leaders make change to problems only they see. You’ve got to make everybody see the problem so they know why the change is necessary.”
    “For a senior leader, it’s like Shakespeare. Play your part and then exit the stage. For a successor, be comfortable in your own skin – David can’t wear Saul’s armor.”

More on Marc Kielburger

One Million Children Helping Children
Marc KielburgerAt the age of 12, Marc Kielburger’s brother, Craig, read about a 12-year-old boy who was murdered while working as an enslaved laborer in a carpet factory. The boy, a Pakistani, had been a child laborer since the age of four.

Craig began researching child labor and wrote a school paper on the topic, which inspired the founding of “Twelve-Twelve-Year-Olds,” made up of his school friends. The group eventually became “Free the Children,” an international organization that has built 500 schools in Latin America, Africa, and Asia—schools that provide education to more than 50,000 children. Working with more than one million kids each year, Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education.

Craig’s brother, Marc Kielburger, 35, is chief executive director of the organization. Together the brothers founded Me to We, an organization committed to the cause of ethical living by providing socially responsible lifestyle products. Marc, director of Me to We has co-authored the New York Times bestseller Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World, The World Needs Your Kid: Raising Children Who Care And Contribute, and a syndicated column carried by The Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, and Huffington Post. The World Economic Forum selected Marc as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders.

Watch this clip of Steven Colbet interviewing Marc (at 3 min 45 sec). Sign your team up for the Summit to hear more from Marc!

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On Landing Planes

Blaine Hogan is a creative director at Willow Creek Community Church and author of Untitled. Visit his blog, BlaineHogan.com and follow him on twitter @BlaineHogan.

Plane LandingThe thing about big projects is they tend to be less like one, giant to-do list, and more like landing planes—lots of planes. Jet liners. Twin prop Cessnas. Helicopters. They just keep coming. With large projects there are always things flying through the air that you must carefully get on the ground.

Some planes need to be coordinated one at time, and others come at you all at once.
Some come down nice and easy, and others have turbulent landings.

The thing about landing planes is that you never really feel “finished” in the same way you do after checking everything off your to-do list, because you know that there is always another plane on the horizon.

Airports don’t shut down and neither do big projects. The planes just keep coming.

In my area of ministry, big projects look like Christmas programs and Easter programs, and Anniversary programs, creative videos, and…well, you get the idea. Once we’ve settled on content, there are auditions. After auditions, there’s wardrobe. Once the wardrobe is finished, everyone needs to be walked through their paces. Once we’re on set, everyone needs to be directed. And then once we start shooting, there are dozens and dozens of changes that must be made to bring it all together.

Plane after plane after plane.

For a long time I felt defeated by the onslaught of planes. It seemed like nothing was ever really getting done. If by some off chance I was beginning to feel like I could breathe again, or like we were actually getting somewhere, inevitably another problem would occur. And then I thought,

This is the creative process. Stop complaining! It’s messy! It’s rarely mappable! It is always dynamic and ever-changing!

Obviously you make plans, but factors outside of your control change all the time. Locations fall through. People don’t deliver. Life happens. So instead of holding my breath until “things are done,” I’m starting to breathe while I’m “doing the things.”

I do my stretches and I turn into an air traffic controller. And I do it with joy and excitement because, I get to land planes!

As Seth Godin says, we should be grateful we get to solve interesting problems.

Landing planes means we’re not on the sideline of ideation but we’re executing, which means we’re getting closer to making our visions come to life.

It will always be hard, but it should also be fun.

Whether your planes are Christmas programs, weekend messages, team building, or strategic planning for a ministry year, know this: Every landed plane deserves some kind of celebration. Even if it’s just a high five, you absolutely must celebrate along the way.

One last thought on landing planes.
As you put those puppies on the ground, know that you have a choice.
Landing planes can be exhausting and defeating, OR it can be exciting and hopeful.

Each new plane coming your way can feel like it’s driving you deeper into the ground of despair as you cry out, “No, not another one!”


You can see these planes as yet another amazing chance for you to be better, to grow, to try, and to get you one step closer to making your dream a reality.

Breathe. Do your stretches. Don’t freak out. Land those planes. Celebrate each one that hits the tarmac.
Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

3 lessons from great leaders

Bret NicholsonThe following post is written by Bret Nicholson, the Lead Pastor at One Life Church, a GLS site in Henderson, KY. One Life is a young church started in October of 2010 and preparing to launch their second site this coming summer. Follow him on twitter and check out his blog, One Life Leaders Blog.

As a part of our hosting The Global Leadership Summit sponsored by the Willow Creek Association, I have the privilege of gathering with other pastors to talk about our leadership challenges. Bill Hybels leads the time and I’m convinced that the leaders in the room are some of the most high impact Christian leaders of our generation.

Here are 3 things that struck me as I spent time with them recently:

1. The Best Leaders: Reflect
Reflection simply means to stop and think about what you’re doing and ask why. If I could characterize Bill Hybels’ leadership style and strength I would call it: the ability to reflect on life, leadership, patterns, principles and behaviors and then boil things down to meaningful ideas he can articulate and act on. My personal nickname for him is, “The Philosopher King”. What that means is he is an observer and student of leadership (including his own) and then a brilliant teacher of those observations.

I come away determined to think and observe more.

2. The Best Leaders: Experiment
One of the most freeing and encouraging observations about people who lead successfully at very high levels is they are willing to try…and fail. I’ve been to a lot of Willow Creek conferences and training sessions and I know they are constantly trying to improve. They tweak, re-org, pursue ideas and take risks almost constantly. It’s part of their DNA. By this I don’t mean they don’t know where they want to go. They are vividly clear about their vision. They just stay fluid on HOW to get there.

I come away determined to take more risks.

3. The Best Leaders — Listen
This is what strikes me most. World-class, highly accomplished and experienced leaders are amazing listeners. I lead a church of a thousand that has been around a year and a half. Hybels has a church that has been around for 36 years with weekend attendance of several thousand. The Global Leadership Summit is a juggernaut impacting nations around the world. And the team behind it all asks me questions and lets me participate in the process of how to improve what they do. Me? Why would they bother? They bother because they are humble and gracious, insatiable learners.

It’s interesting to me that a theme of the book of Proverbs is that wise people are marked by their listening and learning ability. That was true 3000 years ago. It’s true today. Being around some of the best leaders on the planet reinforced that simple but profound lesson.
I come away determined to ask good questions and listen more intently.

Have you ever been around a great leader? What did you learn?

Jim Collins’ Ten Greatest CEOs of All Time

Jim CollinsJim Collins has authored or co-authored six books that have sold in total more than ten million copies worldwide, including Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. A faculty member of the 2012 Global Leadership Summit, Collins spent years studying corporations and separating the great from the mediocre. Out of his research, he compiled his list of the ten greatest CEOs of all time, which was published in Fortune Magazine.

Using four criteria: legacy, impact, resilience, and financial performance, Collins examined more than 400 CEOs to come up with his list. Many of those who made the list never thought of themselves as CEO material. That includes one woman and one powerful leader who was told he would never be a leader. All ten shared something in common—a deep sense of connectedness to the organizations they ran.

10. David Packard, Hewlett-Packard
He rejected the CEO club and belonged to the Hewlett-Packard Club. Practicing what would become known as “management by walking around,” he shared equity and profits with all employees.

9. Katharine Graham, Washington Post
The Washington Post was a small regional newspaper when it passed from Katherine’s father to her husband. But when he committed suicide, she assumed the role of publisher. Against all advice, she published The Pentagon Papers despite threats from Nixon’s White House. Scared to death, she chose to act in the presence of her fear and ended up establishing a great newspaper…and a great company.

8. William McKnight, 3M
This accountant fused two opposing concepts: discipline and creativity. Because 3M entrepreneurs must survive all attempts to kill off their ideas, including their own, they persist against all odds and triumph or die.

7. David Maxwell, Fannie Mae
When Maxwell took over in the 1981, it was losing $1million a day. He turned to sound business principles to stop the bleeding, but his genius was in rebuilding Fannie Mae around a mission to strengthen America’s social fabric by democratizing home ownership.

6. James Burke, Johnson & Johnson
Burke challenged the corporation’s executives to recommit to its original credo—“a duty to mothers and all others who use our products.” In 1982, he made a decision to pull cyanide-laced Tylenol off the shelves. The courageous action cost J&J $100 million, but the decision was unquestioned because the commitment to customer safety outweighed short-term financial concerns.

5. Darwin Smith, Kimberly-Clark
When he became CEO of a mediocre company, Smith didn’t craft a vision statement or transition to a complicated business plan. Instead he asked questions. “What could Kimberly-Clark be passionate about?” “What could it be best at in the world?” In a gutsy move, he sold off their paper mills and focused on what Kimberly-Clark did best—create paper products like Kleenex that had such strong brand identity, the name implied all tissues. Convinced it is better to be right than to be impressive, Smith took the corporation to the top, and Kimberly-Clark became the world’s No. 1 paper-based consumer-products company. Not bad for a guy who was told, “You’ll never be a leader” by the Army’s officer-training school.

4. George Merck, Merck & Co.
Merck believed “medicine is for people, not for profits.” He believed the purpose of a corporation is to do something useful and do it very well. When the company followed that principle, it never failed to realize profits. Unlike CEOs fixated on Wall Street, Merck served the company’s shareholders because he served others first.

3. Sam Walton, Wal-Mart
Much like a church that falls into decline after losing its inspirational pastor, companies built around a charismatic personality with a cult following seldom survive. But Walton’s core message “to make things more affordable to people of lesser means” led to two moves that would outlast him. Before he died in 1992, he set a goal to grow annual sales from $30 billion to $125 billion by 2000 and he hand-picked his successor—a man who would not be thrown into a charisma competition. It worked. Wal-Mart’s sales hit $165 billion in 2000, and Walton proved that even a handicap like charisma can be overcome.

2. Bill Allen, Boeing
When WWII ended, the company that manufactured the bombers that carried the Allies to victory experienced a 90% drop in revenues. Who needed bombers when there’s no war? And everyone knew Boeing was all about bombers. Everyone but Bill Allen who thought Boeing was all about flying machines. Convinced Boeing could change the airline industry, he built a new commercial jet: the 707, and later the 727, 737, and 747. Ignoring those who thought small, he consistently thought bigger—big enough to change an industry and leave a legacy.

1. Charles Coffin, General Electric
When Charles Coffin stepped into the role of CEO, he had big shoes to fill. The former CEO, Thomas A. Edison held patents on the electric light, the phonograph, the motion picture, the alkaline battery, and the dissemination of electricity. Coffin knew his job wasn’t to be the next Edison. He oversaw America’s first research lab, the idea of systematic management development, and ultimately created a company (General Electric) compiled of geniuses who did not depend on him.

More than any other leader, Coffin made GE into a great company, creating the machine that created a succession of giants like Jack Welch. Coffin built the stage on which they all played.

For the person who wants to grow a leader, there are no better role models than those in Collins’ Top Ten. Collins will bring this expert analysis to the Summit and expand on the qualities and disciplines required by a leader to thrive in difficult and turbulent times. Register by May 22, 2012 for best pricing at over 200 satellite locations.

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15 Things You Didn’t Know about Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza RiceYou probably know Condoleezza Rice as the first female African-American secretary of state succeeding Colin Powell in the position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford and later Provost of the university. She joins the faculty of The 2012 Global Leadership Summit.

You may know Rice’s professional accomplishments, but did you know:

    1. Her name comes from the Italian word con dolcezza, an Italian musical term meaning “play with sweetness.”
    2. Rice grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). At the age of eight, one of the girls in her school was killed when white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. (September 15, 1963)
    3. She was the only child of a school teacher and Presbyterian minister who couldn’t eat at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s because of segregation laws, but they believed their daughter could be President.
    4. She skipped first and seventh grades and graduated at the age of 15.
    5. Her grandfather was a sharecropper who went to college and paid his tuition with cotton.
    6. She changed her major to political science after hearing a lecture about Joseph Stalin taught by Madeleine Albright’s father. (Albright was Secretary of State 1997-2001).
    7. When Rice became Provost at Stanford, the school’s budget was $20 million over budget. Within two years, the deficit was wiped out and the university’s coffers were nearly $15 million in the black.
    8. Her father coached football and hoped his unborn child would become an all-American linebacker. When he had a daughter, he taught her all about football. She compares football to warfare because both involve the use of strategy and the goal of taking territory.
    9. The best way to win her heart is to spend Sunday afternoons watching football.
    10. After serving on the Board at Chevron, the corporation honored her by naming a 129,000-ton tanker SS Condoleezza Rice. (It was renamed Altair Voyager.)
    11. One of her prize possessions is a first edition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace—written in Russian. (She has read it twice.)
    12. A concert pianist, Rice has played for Queen Elizabeth and has performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Aretha Franklin.
    13. Her favorite composer is Brahms and her favorite band is Led Zeppelin.
    14. Her dream job? President of the NFL
    15. Rice attends Menlo Park Presbyterian Church where John Ortberg is senior pastor.

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Announcing The Global Leadership Summit

Maybe you missed it, or maybe you just can’t get enough – either way, we’re glad you’re here! This webcast marks the launch of our 2012 Global Leadership Summit season and the team behind the event is so excited. Here’s a recap of the webcast, along with a process tool that you can work through on your own or with your team.

GLS Faculty 2012 Announcement

Bill Hybels and Jim Mellado on The Global Leadership Summit

Leaders know they need an annual injection of vision, encouragement, and skill development because the pressures of leadership are relentless. Bill Hybels believes The Summit is that injection – for any leader – “because it’s about the subject of leadership which is transdenominational, transcultural, and transdisciplinary. Everyone who leads anything needs to get better. There’s an adrenaline rush that comes with knowing that you’re getting better and your organization is getting better.”

There is a collection of tensions that makes the Summit unique. It is first and foremost, and unapologetically Christian event. At the same time, Bill and the team behind the Summit pull from the world’s best experts when inviting speakers. The Summit is leader focused but it’s also inclusive of everyone because everyone is a person of influence and must improve. There is a world-class, global perspective to the Summit that is balanced with a high level of local ownership. And the Summit is packed with both tactical, skill based teaching as well as inspiration and motivation. It’s the tension that sets the Summit apart and makes it what it is.

This year the GLS is pleased to announce a powerful faculty including:

  • Bill Hybels: Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; founder of The Global Leadership Summit – @BillHybels
  • Condoleezza Rice: Former US Secretary Of State; Professor at Stanford Graduate School – @CondoleezzaRice
  • Jim Collins: Nationally acclaimed Business Thinker and author of newest release Great by Choice
  • Marc Kielburger: At age 18 co-founded Free the Children, which has become the largest network of children helping children – @RealMeToWe
  • Sheryl Wudunn: Pulitzer Prize Winner for Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide – @Wudunn
  • Pranitha Timothy: Strategic leader with International Justice Mission who champions restoration and reintegration for thousands of freed slaves in India
  • Craig Groeschel: Founder and Senior Pastor LifeChurch.tv known for leveraging technology to reach a new generation – @CraigGroeschel
  • William Ury: Professor at Harvard with 30 years experience negotiating and mediating corporate, state, and civic conflicts
  • John Ortberg: Senior Pastor, Menlo Presbyterian Church; best-selling author and prominent voice in the spiritual formation movement -@JohnOrtberg
  • Mario Vega: Senior Pastor of a 73,000-attendee church in El Salvador with a successful cell group strategy
  • Geoffrey Canada: Pioneering leader in urban education featured in acclaimed documentary film, Waiting for Superman; CEO/President Harlem Children’s Zone.
  • Patrick Lencioni: Sought-after business speaker teaching from his upcoming book The Advantage about the significance of organizational health – @PatrickLencioni
  • Patrick Lencioni on Meetings

    For most of us working in churches or businesses, meetings occupy a significant portion of time. To admit to not liking meetings is akin to not liking our jobs. Often meetings are equated with corporate penance but the truth is meetings are not inherently bad. Most meetings lack two critical components: drama and context.

    Every good movie must have conflict which is carefully managed by a good director. Likewise, Lencioni argues every meeting must have an issue at stake that people truly care about, “otherwise we are actually asking them to sit around the table and plan their day, or plan dinner, or picture everyone else in the room in their underwear.” We as leaders need to do a better job of being the director; people want tension, anxiety, conflict and a mechanism for resolution.

    Too often we produce “meeting stew” – all topics thrown into one big meeting that nobody is really enjoying. If we focus on the context of a meeting then each topic can be given the attention it requires. Lencioni prescribes four types of meetings: the daily check-in, the weekly staff meeting, the monthly strategic, and the quarterly review. Add each of these up and it comes to about 15% of a leader’s time. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things.

    People don’t hate meetings. They hate bad meetings. Add conflict and context to transform your meetings and the health of your organization. Here is a process tool to help you evaluate your meetings.

    Meet the Faculty

    We work hard, year-round, to bring a world-class faculty to the stage of The Global Leadership Summit each August. This year, we are excited to bring another top-notch collection of leaders, thinkers, and world changers. Watch the blog in weeks to come as we introduce each speaker, and follow @WCAGLS for updates and conversation. And don’t forget to reserve your seat now!

    GLS StageThe 2012 Global Leadership Summit Faculty:

    Condoleezza Rice – 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Condoleezza Rice

    Jim Collins – Ten Greatest CEOs of all Time

    Marc Kielburger – Meet Marc Kielburger

    Pranitha Timothy – A Voice for the Voiceless

    Craig Groeschel – Thoughts from Craig Groeschel

    Mario Vega – Reaching San Salvador

    John Ortberg – Introducing John Ortberg

    Sheryl WuDunn – What Drives Sheryl?

    Patrick Lencioni – Meet Patrick Lencioni

    Geoffrey Canada – Geoffrey Canada’s Thoughts on Leadership

    William Ury – A Yes Man Says No

    Bill Hybels – Bill Hybels’ Hardest Years

    Who are you looking forward to hearing from?

    Patrick is back!

    Patrick LencioniPatrick Lencioni was one of the Summit favorites last year! Patrick is a sought-after speaker and consultant, as well as the author of several best-selling business books. He’s taught at Willow a few times for different events so we’re excited to have him join us again. On Friday, March 16th our team is hosting a webcast that will announce this year’s Summit line up. And to serve your team, the webcast will also feature Patrick as he shares insight from his book, The Advantage. Here are a few of our lessons from that title, join us Friday for much more from Patrick!

    Meetings are not inherently bad, but yet we love to hate them. In order to transform meetings, you must first understand why they can be so bad. Patrick argues meetings lack drama, context and purpose which leads to boring, unfocused and endless. An engaging (less boring) meeting starts with identifying and nurturing the natural level of conflict that should exist. It’s about having the right people at the table to wrestle with the right issues. To address the issue of context, leaders must differentiate between different types of meetings. Patrick maintains there are four: Daily Check-in, the Weekly Tactical, the Monthly Strategic and the Quarterly Off-site Review. Purpose comes when the appropriate type of meeting is held at a given time. Too often organizations simply throw all the pertinent topics into one big staff meeting.

    One of the tensions many leaders face is balancing meetings and productivity. To this Patrick says that reshaping your current meetings into his four-pronged approach should add up to about 20% of a leader’s time. And he would challenge a leader with the basic question: “What is more important than meetings?” The answer may indicate that perhaps a leader should reconsider their role. Because, Patrick says, “if you think about it, a leader who hates meetings is a lot like a surgeon who hates operating on people, or a symphony conductor who hates concerts. Meetings are what leaders do, and the solution to bad meetings is not the elimination of them, but rather the transformation of them into meaningful, engaging and relevant activities.”

    Creating healthy meetings and a healthy team isn’t easy but it’s worth it. Patrick argues that addressing healthy team is one of the remaining competitive advantages in business and ministry.

    Check out Patrick’s book
    Take the Meetings Quiz

    GLS 2011 moments to celebrate

    The Global Leadership Summit is a lifeline to thousands of leaders around the world. Faced with natural disasters, religious persecution, and poverty, these leaders crave the inspiration, encouragement, and practical training the Summit offers. It’s often the one time each year they are reminded that they are not alone and that God still has a plan to use them to transform their communities. These 3 short stories are just a glimpse of how God is using the Summit to renew hope around the world.

    900 Junior and Senior High School Students Gather in Japan
    2011 Global Leadership Summit in JapanIn the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated Japan, 900 young people gathered for a special evening experience created just for students. Featuring hip hop music, dance, and worship led by local students, the evening featured Blake Mycoskie’s story of leading TOMS. Inspired by this story of generosity these students collected over $3,000 for the tsunami victims. A sense of hope and opportunity to impact the next generation in Japan permeated the room.

    Hope in the Midst of Violence
    2011 Global Leadership Summit in Kaduna NigeriaDays before the start of the GLS in Kaduna, Nigeria, terrorists entered a church in a nearby city killing 2 women. With tensions high and travel restrictions in place, local leaders decided to proceed as the GLS offered exactly what was needed to bring hope, encouragement, and restoration to this city. In fact, one senior leader purchased 40 Team Edition DVD sets to be given to those that couldn’t attend.

    A Capacity Crowd in Myanmar
    2011 Global Leadership Summit in MyanmarMore than 1,000 leaders gathered and an additional 200 leaders had to be turned away. One pastor commented that in 26 years of ministry, he had never seen such a large crowd gather for a Christian event. With government restrictions easing in recent months, there is great hope for increased religious freedom. People are hungry and desperate for the kind of inspiration and training the GLS offers.

    You can be a part of the GLS movement – watch the webcast and register today!