Thursday, August 11, 2011

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Bill Hybels

Blogging my notes today from the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. I'm attending via satellite at Grace Church in Erie, PA and I'm here to try to learn how to better lead the Operation Christmas Child Northwestern Pa Area Team. The first talk was given by Bill Hybels--

Bill Hybels—5 important leadership questions for today

1) What is your current challenge level at work? appropriate (enough to do but not too much); underchallenged (not enough to keep busy); dangerously overchallenged (can’t keep up with all you have to do)

Where do you think you do your best work as a leader” (according to above scale) --research shows you do your best when a little above appropriately challenged. This is similar to the physical challenge of building muscles.
Application: For senior leaders—try to demand more of yourself if underchallenged and reduce demands if overchallenged. It’s important to replenish your leadership bucket regularly. Stress causes your performance to increase at first but then performance will fall dramatically and you can crash. At the same time you don’t perform well if underchallenged.
For colleagues—Have people identify where they are on this scale so you are informed. Underchallenged people leave their jobs. Overchallenged people can break down.
It is possible for our entire organization to fall into one of these dangerous categories of being overchallenged or underchallenged.

2) What is your plan for dealing with challenging people in your organization?
The line exercise—if we had a 50% revenue drop and we had to eliminate employees, who would you eliminate first.? List by order of those you’d eliminate from first to last. Those you’d eliminate first—investigate the reasons for that. This brings clarity to leadership questions.
Leading difficult people—
Fantastic Fred—spreading a bad attitude. How much time are you going to give him to get an attitude adjustment? (varying answers. One pastor in Ireland said “your first bad day would be your last day.” A pastor in France said, “If I didn’t tolerate people with bad attitudes I wouldn’t have anyone working for me.”_
--should investigate bad attitudes immediately to find reasons; how can we help?; needs to be resolved in 30 days (Bill Hybels’ view—find your own view)
Underperformers—“laborer not worthy of his hire”—how long do you let this go on? Talk with them as soon as identified and resolve within 3 months. Put on a performance improvement pain.
Leader no longer qualified because the organization demands more talent elasticity—can’t fulfill new duties so allow 6-12 months to resolve this.

a) If you don’t deal with the above, you demoralize all the others in your organization.
b) Challenging people are not really happy people and will often be happier when they move on.

3) Are you naming, facing, and resolving the problems that exist in your organization?—by not naming the problems you never address them or resolve them. Acts 2-4 the problem of food inequities arose. In Acts 6 the leaders addressed the problem, formed a team to solve the problem and thus built trust and experienced more church growth.

New programs accelerate and then can peak and begin decelerating. These areas need to be addressed and new ideas, programs or initiatives developed to invigorate them.

4) When is the last time you reexamined the core of what your organization is all about?— What business are we in? Can we describe our mission on a T-shirt? (The church is in the life transformation business. Only the power of the Gospel can do this. An exercise—draw a circle and in it write 5 words (no God words) that explain the central message of Chrisitanity. Willow Creek still in the process of trying to define this but Bill Hybels uses these words: love, evil, rescue, choice, restoration and he used them to present the message of the gospel.

5) Have you had your leadership bell rung recently:--Has any book or crisis rocked your leadership world? Story of a leader in Thailand who stood up in front of a group of Christian leaders and challenged them with a plan to win one million to Christ in their country in the next 5 years. We need to renew our boldness in leadership. “If you are sick enough of being stuck you would do whatever it would take to get unstuck.” Don’t make excuses instead of doing the bold work of solutions. Your job as a leader is to move an organization from ‘here’ to ‘there’ and if you don’t believe that anymore, step aside. Bill told a story of the founders of the Global Leadership Summit who got together and made a pact that their next 5 years of leadership would be their best. We can decide if we want to give God our absolute best for the next 60 months. How you finish is how you will be remembered so finish well.

A call to decision and prayer.

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