Disciplined People: “Who” before “What”

Written by Summit Alumni, Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great

You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you.
Most people assume that great bus drivers (read: business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision.

In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances. Take David Maxwell’s bus ride. When he became CEO of Fannie Mae in 1981, the company was losing $1 million every business day, with $56 billion worth of mortgage loans underwater. The board desperately wanted to know what Maxwell was going to do to rescue the company.

Maxwell responded to the “what” question the same way that all good-to-great leaders do: He told them, That’s the wrong first question. To decide where to drive the bus before you have the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus, is absolutely the wrong approach.

Maxwell told his management team that there would only be seats on the bus for A-level people who were willing to put out A-plus effort. He interviewed every member of the team. He told them all the same thing: It was going to be a tough ride, a very demanding trip. If they didn’t want to go, fine; just say so. Now’s the time to get off the bus, he said. No questions asked, no recriminations. In all, 14 of 26 executives got off the bus. They were replaced by some of the best, smartest, and hardest-working executives in the world of finance.

With the right people on the bus, in the right seats, Maxwell then turned his full attention to the “what” question. He and his team took Fannie Mae from losing $1 million a day at the start of his tenure to earning $4 million a day at the end. Even after Maxwell left in 1991, his great team continued to drive the flywheel—turn upon turn—and Fannie Mae generated cumulative stock returns nearly eight times better than the general market from 1984 to 1999.

When it comes to getting started, good-to-great leaders understand three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” you can more easily adapt to a fast-changing world. If people get on your bus because of where they think it’s going, you’ll be in trouble when you get 10 miles down the road and discover that you need to change direction because the world has changed. But if people board the bus principally because of all the other great people on the bus, you’ll be much faster and smarter in responding to changing conditions. Second, if you have the right people on your bus, you don’t need to worry about motivating them. The right people are self-motivated: Nothing beats being part of a team that is expected to produce great results. And third, if you have the wrong people on the bus, nothing else matters. You may be headed in the right direction, but you still won’t achieve greatness. Great vision with mediocre people still produces mediocre results.

View the original post HERE.

Don’t Make Your People Pay

Every Monday, we hope to write a post that motivates you to think throughout the week. Today’s post is focused on Vision.

“Don’t make your people pay because you’re so fired up about the vision.” – Bill Hybels

Do you ever get fired up about a vision? Most leaders do and there is nothing wrong with getting fired up. But you cannot forget the people around you when you do.

Vision doesn’t go anywhere without your team. It takes a team that loves, prays and supports you to get the vision “from here to there.” So, how do you make sure you are aware of your team when you get fired up about the vision? Here are three ways that can help you:

Stop and Listen. When we get fired up, we tend to only hear our own voice. How do you know that your vision is pure or right for the organization? Be intentional about stopping and listening. If you do this, you are now opening your ears to hear how your team really feels. Are they on board with you? Do they get it? You may find that you need to start vision casting vs. driving decisions. Don’t make your team work towards your own vision, make sure its a team driven vision.

Your ideas are not the only ideas. Ouch. You may fall into this a lot more than you think. If you are so fired up about your vision, you’ll get ideas of how to get there. Just remember, you can’t get there alone. Others ideas may be the right ideas.

Be willing to try, but also be willing to fail. Once your team is on board with the vision and ideas, build a culture where trying and failing is accepted. This start with the senior leader. Lead by example and try something new. Give it a shot and learn from it. If you are willing to do this, your team will follow suit. The more willingness there is to try, the more likely your team will passionately find the path to pursuing the vision.

Be passionate for a vision, but don’t destroy your team pursuing it.

What do you think? How else can you protect yourself from getting fired up about the vision and hurting your team? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Hear the Cry :: Video

This is the story from The Jesus Church of Christians who are persecuted in Myanmar.

Everyday Christians are being persecuted around the world. Myanmar is one of those places where each day is a battle. Even when it seems there is little hope, we know that God is moving. The Global Leadership Summit is being held in this country. Christian leaders are being equipped, inspired and given a new hope for Christianity in Myanmar.

View the original video post HERE.

Growing Disciples of Christ in Creative Ways

Original Post from Compassion written by Peter Briscoe, Senior Pastor at Bent Tree Church

peter_biscoe_largeWhen we talk about discipleship in our church, it’s not limited to being saved by Jesus—it’s about experiencing His life in and through us. The key to discipleship is knowing who and what the heart of Jesus beats for. The Bible illuminates that His heart is for life transformation—to see marriages, families, and communities transformed. And we share that transformation outside our church walls through missions.

Additionally, Scripture is compelling in what it says about poverty. At Bent Tree, we are intentional about where missions and poverty intersect. We want our families to be aware of poverty and involved in it as a practical way of experiencing Christ’s life expressed from within. Compassion provides a strategic opportunity to disciple our people AND to be used by God to minister to the poor.

Bent Tree has a huge heart for missions—it’s part of our DNA. One of our four missions foci is meeting the physical and spiritual needs of children at risk. We have several ministry partners who help us accomplish this mission goal, but Compassion offers a personal, one-on-one relationship that profoundly affects life change in our Body as well as the children they sponsor.

There are small children in our church community, as young as three and four years old, who are now aware that there are kids out there who don’t have clean water to drink. These young hearts at Bent Tree are more sensitive to God’s heart of compassion as their families pray for their sponsored children and consider ways to meet needs tangibly. Even some of our college-aged young adults are sponsors. It’s beautiful to see how Compassion is maturing, discipling, and giving awareness to our Body. This is how we grow disciples of Christ in creative ways and enlarge our global perspectives outside the confines of our affluent North Dallas neighborhoods.

As a pastor, it is my responsibility to lead the ministry team to disciple our people in stewardship and in mission. The people of Bent Tree respond to this call through the vehicle of Compassion. They get the incredible experience of being a disciple of Christ who makes other disciples by sharing their faith with their sponsored children through letters and prayer. Every four minutes on any given day around the world, a child makes a first-time profession of faith through a Compassion program. Meeting physical needs is one thing, but in the long run it is the eternal aspect that is so strategic both here and abroad. When we stand alongside Compassion we act as advocates for children to release them from physical poverty, and in God’s amazing economy He can somehow use the child to release the sponsor from spiritual poverty.

If you are a pastor seeking out ways to grow the faith of your congregants through discipleship, I would encourage you to ask God, “What do you want to do through us? What do you want us to do as a body?” And step into that. If you are specifically looking for discipleship tools to engage your congregation, then Compassion is a great place to start. Get involved in what Jesus is doing around the world!

View the original post HERE.

10 Ways to Rise Up After Screwing Up

Post from Leadership Freak.

Everyone who tries fails.

Growth happens when you fail and own it, not until. Everyone who blames stays the same.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

Taking responsibility sets leaders apart from the pack. Don’t be a martyr or a blamer. Just own it.

10 ways to rise up after screwing up:

  1. Own it or you’ll repeat it. Any failure you fail to own returns like a nagging pimple.
  2. Be proactive. Take charge of your failure before someone else does.
  3. Look at your performance through the eyes of a high-performer. How did you do?
  4. Explore how your failure impacts others. People trusted you.
  5. Evaluate expectations. How was success defined? Was there clarity?
  6. Focus on performance. Don’t make it personal. Lift yourself up. Don’t beat yourself down.
  7. Say three sentences after failure:
    • I learned to …
    • I learned not to …
    • Next time I’ll …
  8. Answer the temptation to make excuses with accountability.
  9. Address recurring failure with systems. Create a checklist, for example.
  10. Delegate your weakness to someone else’s strength. Stay in your sweetspot as much as possible.

Bonus: Create a win quickly. Elevate your status and fuel positive energy by setting new goals and reaching them, publicly.

Strong leaders take responsibility; weak blame.

Excuse me:

No excuses. No blaming.

  1. Excuse making validates a disappointing past.
  2. Excuse making drags failure into the present.
  3. Excuse making is another way of saying don’t change anything.

Hiding behind the failure of others makes you smaller than the people you hide behind.

Fear of failure:

The right amount of fear contributes to success. You don’t want to be embarrassed, disappoint yourself or others.

Fear of failure is concern for reputation.

Show me someone who doesn’t fear failure, at least a little, and I’ll show you a failure.

How can leaders rise up after screwing up?

How do you maximize mistakes?

View original post HERE.

Your Choices Really Do Matter

Every Monday, we hope to write a post that motivates you to think throughout the week. Today’s post is by Scott Williams. He gives great thought on how we should think about our choices.

“Every choice that you make has significance.

Every decision that you make will lead you to a different crossroads.

Don’t take your ability to choose for granted.

Don’t overlook the beauty of being able to breathe.

Don’t put your dreams on the back-burner.

Don’t give your loved ones second best.

Your choices really do matter.

Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself this question:

Do I really like the choices that I’m making.

Your Choices Really Do Matter.”

View original post HERE.

Time Management God’s Way: What’s on Your To-Don’t List?

Post by Craig Groeschel from the Huffington Post

I was in a restaurant recently when I glanced over and noticed a family of four at another table, each person’s head bowed. I thought, “Oh, they’re praying together before their meal.” But when I happened to look back later, they were still looking down. Suddenly I realized: They weren’t praying. They were all typing into their phones! They were oblivious to one another, each person connecting with people who weren’t even there. Maybe you’ve seen the same thing, perhaps even in your own family.

With always-on access to global news, information and even to other people, it’s normal (even easy) for us to lose focus on the world right in front of us. When we’re constantly flipping channels, we start treating our attention like currency, careful not to spend it all in one place. Just as a look in your checkbook can reveal what you truly value, honestly assessing your daily activities and interactions can show you which things (and people) you really care about.

My wife Amy helped me see this in my own life. For years it was normal for me to only half-listen at home. Occasionally she would ask, “Are you listening to me?” I’d respond with a relationship survival skill I had adapted: I’d repeat back to her the last several words she had just said. But we both knew I wasn’t giving my undivided attention.

Then one day she asked me a very different question. She calmly explained, “You have a lot going on with the church. I’ll always support you. But when you’re with our family, can you be all here?” Her request was perfectly fair and reasonable.

Wherever you are, be all there.

That one tiny idea radically transformed the way I now conduct my everyday life. It immediately strengthened my relationships and, over time, even improved my capacity to make tough decisions. In the cloud of endless to-dos where most of us live, our minds are so cluttered that we overlook the joy just in being alive today. Be honest: Even as you’re reading this article, do your thoughts keep trying to wander to everything else happening in your life?

In our culture, that’s normal. Normal people are distracted, rarely fully present. We all have to fight getting pulled into the orbit of that constant gravity of busyness. Urgent tasks and priorities desperately cry out for our attention. Maybe it’s a chicken-or-egg situation, but I believe all that noise harms our well-being more than the legitimate stress of all the things we actually “have to do.” If you want to be different, you have to live differently. Weird people learn to silence distractions and remain fully in the moment.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16). To leverage that advice when we make decisions, we need to answer: What is the wise thing to do in this situation? And what would it mean to “make the most” of this particular opportunity?

Christ had to make difficult decisions about how he would spend his limited time on earth. His example has a lot to teach us. But we have to take the time to discover what things are important to God by reading the words he gave us. We must also invest time meditating on what those things mean in our everyday lives. Then, the next time the chaos of urgency tries to dictate your next action, you can press pause. Having already thought about which things are most important, you’ll be able to make intentional decisions. (Urgent does not necessarily equal important.) Even if a decision carries you another step forward, it’s not progress if it leads you away from where you actually want to go.

In another letter from Paul, in Colossians 3:17, he suggested, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” When I focus on the things I believe are important to God, I live differently. I don’t make decisions based on my feelings, insecurities or selfish ambitions. Instead, I tend to favor others who have greater need. The conversations I have lend themselves to deeper, intimate connections — not simple, superficial information exchanges. “Did you go by the cleaners?” gives way to genuine care: “So, how was your day?”

Just as important as your to-do list — and perhaps more important — what’s on your to-don’t list? When you focus on the purposes you believe God created you for, you’ll have the stability to say no to some good things. And that will give you the space to be able say yes to the best things when they present themselves. Rather than just reacting to the waves of things that come, you can ride them with deliberate intention.

James 4:14 reminds us, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” We can’t have more time, but we can live with a greater awareness of the limited time we do have. Every opportunity that arrives on your doorstep will require some decision. If you’ve already decided what you value, you can fully enjoy each moment, secure that you’re living the life you want. God gives us an amazing present every day. Normal people leave this gift unwrapped, unrealized, unappreciated, and it’s gone before they know it. Weird people know there’s no time like the present.

View the original post HERE

Summit Breakfast with Chestor Elton

summitbfast_eltonAre you in the Chicago area? Join us for Summit Breakfast with Chestor Elton!

How do leaders make work more rewarding for their employees to accelerate business results? Called the “apostle of appreciation” by The Globe and Mail, and “creative and refreshing” by The New York Times, bestselling leadership author Chester Elton addresses this question and many others in his energetic and information packed talks. Passionate about helping clients build a better workplace, Elton speaks around the world to companies such as Avis, Pepsi, and American Express.

Elton and his writing and business partner Adrian Gostick are the authors of What Motivates Me, All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results; The Carrot Principle; and The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform An Entire Organization. Their books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide.

Elton is #12 on the 30 top leadership gurus of 2013, he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company magazine, and The New York Times, and has been a guest on CNN, 60 Minutes, MSNBC, FOX News, National Public Radio. He is a LinkedIn Influencer and has a weekly segment on how to build a better workplace on WCBS News Radio in New York.

He has spoken to audiences around the world and was the highest rated speaker at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference. He also serves as a leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, Avis Budget Group, and Cigna. He is most proud, however, to be the father of four exceptional children—all the more exceptional now they have grown and left home.

Sign up for a breakfast presentation with Chester Elton today!

When: January 14, 2015
Time: 7:30 AM
Location: Willow Creek Community Church, Blue Sky 1
Cost: $10

3 Benefits to Reaching Beyond Your Comfort Zone

2015 has come to a start and many of you are stepping back into the office for the first time today. It’s time to create check lists, initiate meetings and get your head in the game to ensure that 2015 is the best year yet.

All of this is great, but we tend to start so fast that we forget one of the most important aspects of life that brings health to our year.

At The Global Leadership Summit 2014, Bill Hybels said, “God made you on purpose for a purpose. There’s not an accidental human being. Pastors, you have to bring the Kingdom of God outside the walls of your church and into your community and the world.” 

This is a great reminder not only for pastors, but for all of us who are the Church. We have a purpose to goes beyond the walls of comfort we know too well. As scary and burdening as it may seem, here are three benefits to reaching beyond the walls of your comfort zones:

1) When you establish different relationships you gain perspective on the realities of your community. When I think of the life of Jesus, I try to picture him at a party. And then I ask myself, what table would he sit at? How would he interact? This excise has helped me as I look at the relationships in my own life. Am I staying comfortable or reaching out?

2) You are reminded that your purpose goes beyond the walls of your day to day. We need to be reminded. As I mentioned earlier, we start the year off so fast that most of us get burned out before the first quarter even ends. Just take a step outside and you will see that reaching beyond your walls can be a sweet and life-giving reminder of your purpose and your calling. It may just be someones smile, a thank you, a glimpse of hope; you won’t know until you try.

3) You will be humbled in some shape or form. Sometimes we need a reality check. We can get so comfortable with where we are and who are around us. Engaging the community and people outside of our comforts can help us grow. It can stretch us, teach us and bring us to a new place of humility we never expected.

We can all benefit from going beyond the walls of the church and our comfort zones. You are not an accident. You have calling and as the Church we have a purpose.

What ways can you bring the Kingdom of God outside of your walls this week?

Story 6: Healing the Wounds

Meet Joshua Lwere. He is one of the GLS leaders in Africa. “I survived as a young boy from being slaughtered by the army.” Watch more of Joshua’s story as he talks about healing after 30 years of civil war.

Help WCA bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can train, equip and inspire Christian leaders globally. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.