Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Month and Counting

Just one month from right now, Lord willing, our 5th annual Operation Christmas Child packing party will be over and the trucks will be filled with 21,000+ gift-filled shoeboxes.

Lord willing.

Because I'm never sure how it will happen.

This is the time when I need to keep reminding myself it's His work.  His way.  His time.

Stay tuned to see Him do it again.

Monday, August 19, 2013

God Gives Us the Brush-On

I love it when God brings people alongside me in this Operation Christmas Child journey.  And one of the sweetest people he's brought back into my life is my friend Ellen.  Ellen's husband and I were in the same youth group as teens and she sang at my wedding.

Now, years later, we reconnected on Facebook and for the past few years she has used our NWPA Operation Christmas Child Packing Party as the mission project for the VBS at her church.

When I told her I needed about 5,000 more toothbrushes for our boxes this year, she decided to make that their goal.  I told her I'd been buying nice ones from an online site for about 15 cents each. 

Last week Ellen sent me a message saying their church would be sending me a check for $505.17.  Even though their VBS had the smallest attendance ever with only 15 regular attendees, their giving was amazing.  The children were especially touched when they heard the story of a shoebox recipient who lived in an orphanage in Russia where 20 children shared the same toothbrush.

Ellen said "we all have long faces because we didn't reach our goal.  I think with the money and the toothbrushes we had donated, it came to 3,426 toothbrushes."  

But that's not the end of the story.  

When I went to the site where I've ordered the toothbrushes, I found the price had risen to 17 cents each.  So I decided to check some other outlets.  Here's the story via my Facebook conversation with Ellen.

  • from me to Ellen: Good news! I searched a website today called Plak Smackers (recommended by some other OCC folks) and found some toothbrushes on clearance and (today only) shipping was free for a $500 order. I spent $511.40 and was able to get 5,040 toothbrushes!!!!! So.....your gift, including the toothbrushes you sent, was closer to 5,100 toothbrushes!!!!! God is SO GOOD to us all, isn't He? I can't wait to see what God does from all this love you have sent. Praising Him for how He lets us come into His plan and be blessed.
  • from Ellen to me:  Oh my goodness Kathy! I can't believe it! What a Savior we serve! I can't wait to tell our Hill kids And my granddaughter Sam who gave me her piggy bank $ when she knew we didn't hit the goal. She said I know God wants those kids to have brushes! Praising God with you and FOR you.

  • from me to Ellen: I love God's timing and His amazing faithfulness. A special hug from me to Sam--God will reward her sweet heartWhen we give and pray--God hears aWhat a Savior we serve, indeed!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Pen Is Mightier

Lately I've been reminiscing about God's great provisions year by year for this Operation Christmas Child journey.  Every year He seems to provide in new and totally different ways.

Sometimes people contact me for tips on how to host a large packing party, assuming I have some secret list of places to obtain low-cost items.  But that's not the case.  Each year we pray and then watch God lead us to wonderful contacts.  And I see the same thing happening all around the country for others who are packing boxes also.  Let's give God credit because whether you are packing one box or thousands of boxes--everything you need always comes from Him.

So today was my birthday and I got a great gift as the 44,000 pens I ordered for our packing party (2 will be put into each box) arrived via 18-wheeler.   The timing was a perfect answer to prayer and my sweet husband and my dear team member, Pam, were both there to help with the unloading.

In only 1.5 hours we got them all opened, inspected, and loaded into the storage container.  These are nice pens at a low cost--a perfect gift from God.

After dealing with the pens we headed to a packing party team meeting.  Excitement is building as we're only 44 days away from our 5th annual event.
In just a bit over 6 weeks these pens and a lot of other treasures will be on their way to bless children around the world.

Now THAT'S something to write about.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thrill Seeking

Yesterday morning we drove 2.5 hours to Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.  Visiting amusement parks is one of the few things my husband and I have always enjoyed doing together and I was excited for this trip.

Our first two rides were on the Magnum--a roller coaster--where the lines were very short.  In 1989 when it was built we stood in line for several hours to ride it.  It was thrilling then, but now not so much.

There is in us a desire to always seek a greater thrill.  I thought of how this applies to our spiritual lives as well.  I don't want to be satisfied with the spiritual thrills I experienced 25 years ago and 25 years from now I don't want to be satisfied with what I know of God today.   My Operation Christmas Child journey of the past 18 years has been used by God to grow me in so many ways, and I'm trusting Him to use whatever means He chooses to continue to draw me closer.

Higher up and deeper in--more of YOU, Lord.

Back to Cedar Point.  The picture above is of our favorite ride--a steel coaster named Millenium Force.  If not for the 1.5 hour wait we would have hopped back in line after our ride.

Here's where the spiritual thrill ride analogy starts to break down.

We intended to stay until the park closed at 10:00 pm and wring every drop of fun out of the day.  By 4:00, though, my husband was sick and tired and had to go to the car to rest while I rode three more rides.  (Truthfully, I was feeling a little sick myself but refused to give in.)

We then reunited to ride the newest ride at the park--The Gatekeeper.  The lines were shorter than earlier in the day but we still waited over an hour for our 2.5 minute ride of ups and downs and twisting and being turned upside down.  When we got off my husband said, "I think that's it for me."

By 7:30 pm I was behind the wheel of the car and we were headed home.  Some thrills are just harder to handle than they used to be.  I guess that's why they give you that senior discount.

Still, God--I'm ready for more thrills with You--higher up and deeper in.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Andy Stanley

Closing Session--

One day Jesus is way north of the city of Jerusalem.  They're walking into the city (renamed Cesarea) and Jesus asks them, "Who do people say I am?"  They answered that some said he was reincarnation of John the Baptist.  "But who do YOU say I am."  Peter said, "I think you're the Christ, the Son of the Living God."  Jesus tells him that answer was given to you from above and then tells him, "Upon this rock I will build my congregation, my assembly, and death won't stop it."

I don't know what they were thinking about this.  At the moment it must not have seemed very significant.

It's so unfortunate that the word 'church' showed up in our New Testament because the German word 'church' means a place but Jesus was talking about a gathering, a movement.

When Tyndale was translating the original text into English and came to the word 'ecclesia' he first translated it as 'congregation'--an assembly.  If we put all  Christians into their own groups, the only thing that is common ground is what Jesus predicted--"I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God and I will build a people around that."

Before you walk out the door to church, think about the fact that you are going to fulfill a prophecy made 2000 years ago.  Do you know how astonishing it is that the Church survived?  Jesus said, "ALL authority has been given to me, go therefore into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you and I will be with you to the end of the age."  And then He left.

How did this happen?  Simple.  When Jesus made His promise, He said He would build a gallery of people in His name, and they would have in common that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.

Imagine standing there in the holy land (the armpit of the Roman Empire where no one wanted to go) and hearing Jesus tell them to go to ALL nations.  How did it happen?  Because Jesus made a promise and you can believe or disbelieve but Jesus will continue to build His church.  And no one's death will stop it--not even His own.

They then go out into the city and pour into the streets and begin to preach.  Peter's first sermon is one that we stopped preaching.  The first message was, "You killed Him.  God brought Him back to life.  Say you're sorry."   It was not about salvation by faith or about miracles.  It was about what they saw.  They were witnesses of the resurrection and they said, "You crucified Him."  That is some bold preaching and it should have been the end.

The central teaching of the Church was "we believe something happened" NOT "we believe something is true."  The resurrection was central.

Then things began to bog down.  (Andy's interpretation) -- Persecution broke out and they went just far enough not to be persecuted.  And the movement stopped moving and the gathering wasn't growing.  They were huddling in Judea.  God may have said, "I think you need a leader.  I think you need to find someone courageous, someone who's fearless, someone who can gather momentum.  And while you're looking I think you should find a Pharisee and tell him if he does a good job I'll let him write 1/2 the New Testament.  Saul of Tarsus?  That's the kind of guy you should have picked in the beginning.  I'm telling you--he's our guy."

Saul becomes the champion of the Church.  When Jesus said He was going to build His church, He built it. Jesus is willing to interrupt lives to build His Church and nothing, nothing, nothing will stand in the way.

Paul ends up back in Jerusalem.  Paul tells them, "You take Jerusalem and I'll take everything else."  And Paul begins to travel around the world building the local Church.  Everywhere he goes he is writing letters and 2000 years later we're still trying to figure out what he said.

Eventually Paul goes back to Jerusalem and reminds those who fear for his life that they serve a resurrected savior.  James the brother of Jesus might be the strongest reason to believe Jesus is the savior.  What would it take for you to convince your brother you are the savior?

As Paul was about to be killed, did he wonder if the Church would last?  Did he wonder if he wasted his life?

Andy tells story of taking his children to visit Jerusalem and Rome and at the Roman Coliseum at the Emperor's Gate you can see a cross on the wall.  When you think no one sees and cares, there is a cross.

Think of Paul being walked to be beheaded, what if you could tell him that centuries later people would want to know where he was buried?  There will be nothing there to commemorate Nero but everybody will want to know about Paul and Peter.  There will one day be crosses to commemorate Jesus' resurrection.  In the future, people will name their children Paul and Peter and name their dogs Nero and Caesar.  Someday there will be a coliseum and for four centuries it will be an arena of death and violence but one day it will be dedicated to the martyrs who died for the name of Jesus.  One day there will be no Roman Empire but the Church will be in every country of the world just like your Savior predicted.

When Jesus said He is going to build His Church, He meant it.  And you can never do anything more significant with your life.

"So my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.  Because you KNOW that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."  There's a cross that hangs over the Emperor's Gate in the Roman Coliseum because Jesus said "I will build My Church."

He meant it.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Bill Hybels; Jim Mellado; Gary Schwammlein


Bill Hybels says, "Building the Willow Creek Association with Jim Mellado has been one of the joys of my life.  I know I'm supposed to be excited and wish him well as he goes to Compassion and promise to pray for him but I'm still in the mode of missing him.  It's going to take me a long time to get over him moving to Colorado.  It's tough after two decades to say goodbye.

We have a tradition at Willow.  The Bible says in Phil. 2:29 that when someone has led well in a church you should give them appropriate honor.  Our tradition is to say kind words and then say, "We hold you in high regard.  Way to go," and then clap like crazy.  This is important to our church."

Jim Mellado (with great emotion) says "There really aren't words but I want to say thank you.  I met the first member of my team when I first joined and there were only a dozen employees.  John Williams was the one that suggested we satellite the summit...Thank you to my church Willow Creek.  My kids came to Christ here.  I thank my mentor, Bill, who gave me the gift of belief, the gift of opportunity, the gift of coaching, the gift of reprimands at the right time.  He believed in me every year, learning to live with successes and failures.  He wrote a note to me that will mean more to me than you can ever imagine and said, "We're gonna do Kingdom mischief for the rest of our lives no matter what seat you're sitting in in the Kingdom."

Gary Schwammlein is going to be the new president of the WCA.  He says:  When Bill asked me to be president of the WCA he knew I was planning to retire.  I turned 70 in May and my wife had organized a birthday/ retirement party but I made the decision to take this job so it became a non-retirement party.

The local church is the hope of the world when it's working right.  But many are not working right.  My mind was clouded with the faces of many people who have impacted the church in the right way.  And I heard a voice telling me, "I want you to take this position."

Let me share an example:  Recently I visited a church in Calcutta to see if we could hold a GLS there and the pastor was greatly supportive.  What impressed me was to see a church in the minority in that area ministering to all the needs of the people.  A school for 3,500 children, a hospital with 350 beds, 10,000 children being fed every day.  What would the city be like without this church?

When I see churches functioning without passion it frustrates me and angers me.  Without passion relationships are dull and boring and church can become routine.

The local church is the hope of the world when it's working right.  Leadership matters and in the last few years I've embraced this concept in all I do.  Leadership allows all the other gifts to flourish.  Great, God-honoring leadership is the key to the church being the hope of the world.  If you want your leadership to matter, lead in the things that matter to God.

Recently I was in VietNam and saw the work of an organization based in the US and was so impressed with their work.  I put an old German hymn on repeat on YouTube for two hours and prayed that God would open up a door for ministry in that country.

We're about helping churches everywhere to thrive.  That is well worth delaying my retirement plans.  "If you're not dead, you're not done."

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Dr. Henry Cloud

Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader--

I'm the shrink that Bill told you about.  The bad thing is not only am I a shrink at a leadership conference, I'm a Christian shrink.  Hybels goes around the world and tells people I'm his shrink, so obviously I'm not very good.

When I got my first job I was hired at a leadership consulting firm.  You step into that space from 'here' to 'there' and it's you on that path.  You get out there and it's you that has to do it.  I fell in love with leadership as I listened to CEOs talk about the struggles of implementing what they learned about leadership.

Here's why I love it.  As leaders you are people who take charge and do stuff.  Leaders don't blame; they take the stewardship and exert their energy in that space to lead people and take ownership of that.  Leaders take ownership of difficult people problems.

(Tells of a man who owned a successful factory and is grooming his son to succeed him and sees his son berating an employee publicly.  He tells his son I wear two hats--my 'father' hat and my 'boss' hat.  Now I'm putting my 'boss' hat on and you're fired.  Now I'm gonna put my 'father' hat on -- "Son you just lost your job--can I help you?")

The hardest thing a leader has to be ridiculously in charge of is himself or herself.  Some leaders get results and some don't.  Many times they begin to get results and then start a downward spiral they can't stop.

Very accomplished leaders get there, and if you're not there yet and you keep succeeding you will get there.

Leaders who are in charge of themselves think, feel and behave differently than those who spiral out.

Study took 2 groups--one group had applied to get hired and did great on the test and so they hired them.  Then they also hired a group who did poorly on the test.  Which team do you want--the smart guys or the idiots?  In the field the 'dummies' blew them away with 53% higher sales.  There was one other difference.  The smart guys had another test to measure their thinking and they were shown to be pessimists.  The ones who were not smart but were positive did better and they will every time.

The biggest factor of success is whether or not you believe it can be done.

All leaders believe it can happen when they start but then they get into a circumstance somewhere that makes them realize they are out of control of the circumstances and that begins to change their brain.  This is called learned helplessness.

What happens to the brain when you find yourself not in control?  The brain begins to change in predictable ways.

1)  Personalize --brain says "I'm no good.  I can't do this."  (the dummies don't let it bother them.  They don't take it personally)

--this can happen in childhood if you cannot gain approval

2)  Pervasive--brain says "No one thinks I'm any good. My whole life sucks."  Everything is bad.

3)  Permanent -- brain says "It will always be this way."  Once this happens, even the best performers can start to spiral.

We see David in the Bible going here.  This can happen to any great leader.  When everything gets negative, you don't even do the things you can do to stop the spiral.

But there is a way out--  Science and the Bible will agree in a place called reality.

To reverse the 3 "P"s

1)  Log the thoughts and dispute them -- write down the negative thoughts.  One man wrote down all the negative things he thought a client would say and 99% of them were false.  You dispute those thoughts, if a believer, with Scripture.  There's a difference between your brain and your mind.  Your brain has nothing to do with reality.  Write down the good things to prove that everything is not bad.

2)  Control -- make two columns of lists-- one you can't control (obsess about it for only 5 minutes) and then make a list of what you CAN control.  Everybody has control of something.  There is always something you CAN do.

3)  Connect--you fuel your brain on oxygen, glucose, and relationship -- you MUST connect.  When you are connected you start to forget about whether you are good or bad and go solve problems.  Experiment with monkeys--just by putting a 'buddy' in a stressed monkey's cage, the stress level dropped by 50%.
Connect and your brain will change.   The first thing Jesus did with His team was put them in a room together and pray for unity.

A "can do" attitude is something that will give you confidence and "find a way" thinking.  May God empower you to get there.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Oscar Muriu

Viral Leadership:  Multiplying Your Impact Exponentially--

(At age 20 he started a church with 20 people and now has 14,000 weekly attenders across all the church venues.)

Three years ago I attended the summit and bought the CDs from 1995-2009 summits and am working my way through them, listening to the speakers.

As a rookie pastor fresh out of Bible school I went to Nairobi chapel with no clue what I was getting myself into.  The church grew from 20 to 80 people in the first year.  Within 3 more years they grew to 500 people.

Quickly realized my personal leadership capacity could not keep up with the growth so I began to ask the Lord "Where do I find leaders?"   God gave me 5 convictions.

Now the Nairobi Chapel has 40 churches and the goal is to plant 300 churches by 2020 around the world.

5 convictions about leadership development--

1)  Matthew 9:37,38-- The size of your harvest depends on how many leaders you have--there is no problem with the harvest; only lack is harvesters.  The more harvesters we commission the greater the harvest will be.  Jesus' own strategy was to first find His leaders and to invest Himself in their lives, to call them to walk with Him.   If you don't have leaders around you then the reach of your ministry will be limited to your personal capacity.  One of the signs of great leadership is how many leaders you raised up who will continue the work after you.  Your impact will depend not on how hard you worked but how many harvesters you raised up.

2)   Psalm 71:18 -- Live for the next generation.  Don't live just for your own generation -- When you live with your own generation you die with your own generation and your vision will die with you.  The only way your vision will live beyond you is to instill it in those who will be there when you are gone.  Who am I investing in that is at least 20 years younger than I?

3)  Numbers 11:10-17--God promised to give Moses 70 leaders filled with the Spirit to share in leading.  Moses was troubled with discouragement and burn-out.  There were already 70 first-class leaders there waiting because Moses was able to appoint them in one day.  Some of your best leaders are right under your nose.  You can't see them even though everyone else can.  Two of these leaders in Nairobi got married and pledge to give more than 25 years of their life to ministry and asked to be sent as church planters to each continent of the world for five years at a time to plant a church in each.

4)  Mark 12:30-33--Instill the five loves into your budding leaders.--Love God with your heart and mind and soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  Loving God with your heart is a matter of character.  Loving God with your soul is a matter of conviction.  Loving the Lord with your mind is a matter of comprehension.  Loving the Lord with your strength is a matter of competence.   Loving your neighbor as yourself is a matter of compassion.  If your young leaders learn these 5 loves and embrace them and live them, that's it.

5)  Acts 4:13 --Never do ministry alone.  Always have budding leaders around you.  When they looked at early church leaders they saw Jesus.  What was the training?  The time He spent with them.  You need to ensure you always have budding leaders around you.  If you're alone you miss the opportunity to mentor.  Let them live in your home.  Never waste an opportunity.  500 have gone through mentorship training in our church and they will be the ones planting churches.  The more harvesters you have the larger your harvest will be.

We don't have a lot of resources but we innovate and find a way to do it.  You can do it, too, because the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Dr. Brene Brown

Daring Greatly--

I study vulnerability and what it means to be human.  I want to do something different here today.  I want to talk about something more primitive--the irreducible needs of men, women, and children.  These are non-negotiable--

--Love and belonging -- in the absence of love and belonging there is always suffering

Three basic needs
--need to be seen and loved
--need to belong
--need to be brave

Connection is why we're here.  We're neurologically wired for it.  If we don't understand those needs I don't think we can lead.

Love is messy; love is tough, gritty

13,000 pieces of data in my career and came up with this definition

Love:   We cultivate love when we allow ourselves to be seen and known and when we honor that in another person with trust, kindness, and respect.  It's not something we give or get; it's something we grow and nurture; it is cultivated between two people only when there is self-love present in both.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.

Lessons for Leadership:

Growth through connection--love isn't something we do ourselves;  you don't have all the answers;  Leaders are not all-knowing and all-powerful.  What a leader does is model the courage to ask the questions.  It's not our job to have the answers.

We can't give what we don't have--"Lookin' for love in all the wrong places"; we can't give people courage or a sense of belonging when we don't have it;  we can't give people permission to ask for grace when we don't have it or give it to ourselves;  we can't give help when we can't ask for it; When you feel judgment for asking for help you are, by default, always judging when you offer help because you have attached judgment to needing help; One way judgment shows up is when we derive our self-worth from being a helper

Professing vs. practice -- When you are engaged in non-loving behaviors you are not practicing love.  Saying you love someone isn't the same as the practice of love.  The space between what we practice every day and our aspirational values (love, respect, faith) is where we lose people.  That's where we lose people.  We're looking for people who practice love all messy and gritty.

What kills love kills organization;  Shame, Betrayal, Disprespect, Blame, Withholding-- Assessing an organization for shame is like doing a termite assessment.  Shame can only rise to a certain level in organizations before people disengage to self-protect.  If you can see shame in an organization like gossip, favoritism, connecting self-worth to production -- these are desperate problems.

The value of failure--talked with a venture capitalist who says they don't fund anyone who hasn't failed at least 3 times for $1 million or more.  Need to show they don't have fear of failure.  Without failure there can be no innovation.

Blame--How many are blamers?  Blame is defined in research as "the simple discharging of pain and discomfort"  Blame has nothing to do with accountability and is toxic in organizations.

Disrespect--Asked in 'exit interviews' what is the #1 reason for leaving? -- lack of feedback.  Feedback is a function of respect.  When we don't have vulnerable honest conversations with people they feel unseen.  The problem with feedback is you can't be good with feedback unless you are willing to be vulnerable.  One of the reasons we don't engage in it is because it is so uncomfortable.

Belonging vs. fitting in--What emerged as the #1 barrier to belonging?  Fitting in.  You have to make a space in your organizations for people to show up and be seen for who they are.  We are desperate to be seen.  We can build intimacy around a common enemy even if we don't know one another.  If you give people a place to show up where they believe they belong but can be themselves you respect them.  We can't put conditions on belonging because belonging is not a luxury for us.

Be Brave--Never in our lives do we feel more alive than when we are being brave.  After the TED talk (an interview she did that went viral) I had a 'vulnerability hangover' and didn't get out of bed for several days.   I am an introvert and very private so everyone told me not to get online and read I went online and read the comments.  Every leader can think of several things people could say that would be so painful that you would change yourself not to hear them.  Those comments for me were everything I had been afraid to hear.

Read quote from Theodore Roosevelt that changed her life:  It ends, "if he fails at least fails daring greatly."

You can choose courage or you can have comfort but you cannot have both.  They are mutually exclusive.  If faith is part of who you are, there are two things you need to take into the arena--

1)  Clarity of values
2)  Someone who loves you BECAUSE of your imperfections who will pick you up and say "that sucked, but you were brave."

If you are not in the arena also getting your butt kicked on a regular basis I am not interested in your feedback.  As the world has grown the number of cheap seats has grown.  We need to be contributing more than we are criticizing.

Vulnerability is dangerous and scary but not as terrifying as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask, "What if I had shown up?"

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Vijay Govindarajan

The Innovation Challenge:  Getting It Right--

Interview with Jim Mellado--

Jim:  You have a belief that says ongoing operations are at odds with innovations.  Why?

Vijay:  Strategy is not about celebrating the past or present but about the future.  If you want to be a leader in the future you have to adapt to change (innovation)  So strategy is innovation.  Put the projects in 3 boxes

Box 1-- Manage the present  (competition for the present is efficiency)
Box 2--Selectively forget the past  (competition for #2 and #3 is innovation)
Box 3--Create the future

Look at innovations in the high jump since 1900--
1) scissors (at that time jumped 4.2 feet and there was only so high you could go)
2) western roll
3) straddle
4) Fosbury flop (complete innovation)

Jim:  Let's talk about the conflict between ongoing operations and thinking of the future

Vijay:  When you're outstanding at "scissors" you are bound by dominant logic which left unchecked causes self-imposed boundaries.  The central leadership challenge is how to preserve dominant logic while moving ahead.

Jim:  You think innovation is more than ideas.

Vijay:  People mistake innovation for creativity but innovation is executing creativity--commercializing the idea.  "Innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

Jim:  What's the equation for implementing innovation?

Vijay:  Ideas + Execution  Unless you can get to this the idea is just an idea.  Innovation execution take a team and a plan which is different than the team for Box 1.

Jim:  What kind of leader is an innovation leader:

Vijay:  Innovation is not just the responsibility of the leader.  It's not just about breaking rules.  Innovation leaders need to be humble and to harness the capabilities of the performers.

Jim:  What are innovation killers?

Vijay:  First, assuming innovation can happen inside the performance engine (built to promote efficiency);  Second, not constituting the team and the plan correctly

Jim:  Why can't you have the existing model constantly improved?

Vijay:  The "scissors" can improve "scissors" but they can't make it into a "Fosbury Flop";  You need a new model and team for innovation.

Jim:  What kind of team do you need for innovation and can it be tied to Box 1?

Vijay:  You need to create a distinct team that is separate from the performance engine.  They have different capabilities.  That dedicated team has to be linked to the performance engine because there are assets there.  This can create all kinds of conflict.  You're asking the new logic to interact with the dominant logic.

Jim:  Who's paying for the cost of the innovation?

Vijay:  Cash is coming from the performance engine and so dominant logic is needed.  The Box 3 experiment, even though it is losing money today, is necessary for planting seeds that will hopefully give you fruit five years from now.

Jim:  Leaders often make a mistake in selecting people for the innovative team. How are they selected?

Vijay:  Be courageous to recruit people from the outside.  Do not simply transfer people from the performance engine team to the innovative team.

Jim:  Talk about organizational memory.

Vijay:  The team is not isolated so it has to interact with organizational memory but it can cause conflicts that need to be productively managed.

Jim:  You say you need to think differently about organizing and planning.  Talk to us about zero-base planning.

Vijay:  Box 1 is your current business.  You are there responding to clear signals and linear changes.  Box 3 (the future) always deals in weak signals and unknowns so the job in Box 3 is to learn to resolve assumptions and unknowns so the whole planning process is about testing assumptions.  This means spend a little, learn a lot.

Jim:  How do you track and judge whether to keep investing in innovation?

Vijay:  Box 3 is an experiment and cannot be evaluated the same way.  It's really a bet for the future.  They can still be strongly evaluated on their ability to learn.  They need to set up low-cost experiments to test assumptions and continuously learn.

Jim:  You talk about reverse innovation.  What is this?

Vijay:  This is the single biggest opportunity for the next several decades.  Reverse innovation means innovating in a poor country and selling the products in a rich country.  It's hard to see how a rich man would want a poor man's product.  In America health care is based on high cost and we can't guarantee universal access.  In poor countries, they are experimenting with low cost health care and universal access.  When you think of value for many you have to do more with a lot less.  In India open heart surgey can be done for $2000.  We have to think about innovation as doing a lot more with a lot less for a lot of people.  The number one problem today is income inequality.  This has reached alarming proportions.

Jim:  Why did you decide to be a teacher?

Vijay:  I grew up in a poor family in India.  India has so many problems and so few resources so innovation is the only way to solve their problems.  In this country I dedicated my life to study innovation and teaching gives me the highest leverage.  The US as a country has the secret for Box 3 thinking.  This country is built on innovation.  I came to the US in the late 70s with $11 in my pocket.  The US is based on humility and we have to keep humility and accept ideas from around the world to stay a great country.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Joseph Grenny

Mastering the Skill of Influence--

Leadership is intentional influence.  You can't get people from A to B unless they change their behavior.  Leadership isn't just about motivating but about us acquiring confidence to do so.  We need to study from those who understand influence.

--Whoever is designing video games understands influence
--1 person out of every 34 is incarcerated.  Why?  Influence is driving their behavior.
--Obesity has doubled since 1980.  Those who want us to eat more have developed strategies.
--Smoking rates in the US dropped from 44% in 1950s to 21% in 2008.  How was that influence exerted?

We should be taking lessons from social science.

--In 2007 61% of Americans said religion was losing influence
--80% know a Christian but only 15% see any difference in their behavior

Journey through social sciences--
(story of Jane in the Mathare Slum in Nairobi, Kenya--lives in 15 X 15 shack and as she approached puberty her father began to assault her and she chose to leave the home;  her only option at age 12 was to enter the sex trade;  She had 2 strategies--to serve the tourists or to stay near home;  she had 2 children so she stayed closer to home which meant she was selling herself for 25 cents.  In just the Nairobi area there are 800,000 women like Jane.)

How would you influence Jane's prospects?  Try to engage her in a vital behavior of weekly savings--one regular behavior.  How do you influence this?

Lab experiments on 6th and 7th graders.  Gave opportunity to earn $40 by completing 4 tasks over 4 minutes.  They were asked to set goals for the use of the money to anchor their intentions.  The only temptation was the opportunity to buy things along the way for prices at 5-10 times the regular price.  They still gave in to that temptation and out of $40 the average person took home $13.  Some of them went into debt in a 10 minute period of time.  Why?

We believe people do what they do because they lack commitment.  This is a naive view of the world which leads us to sermonize.   Asked the children to explain their failures--they couldn't explain.  But there were intentional motivators.

--as the kids came in we gave them a taste of the candy
--we put them in novel circumstances with no skills
--we gave them social motivators (got other students to come in and make statements "there's a lot of awesome candy over there."
--manipulated structural incentives (credit card)
--decorations in the room of children enjoying candy

For experimental purposes they reversed all the above.  When all those things were changed, the students left with $34 average--a 270% difference.

Leadership is intentional influence and exercising these 6 sources of influence brings change.  Examine these in your own situation and see which are missing.

Six Sources of Influence--
1)  Personal Motivation --  The good behavior feels bad and the bad behavior feels good.  How do you solve this?  We tend to believe that behavior has intrinsic emotions but it doesn't.  Your job is to make the good stuff feel pleasurable.  What influencers understand is that people can change the way they feel about almost any choice.  Your job is to influence the frame.

How to Influence--
--Don't just teach abstract principles; connect to values

2)  Personal Ability --The influence of skill (helmet cam on 10-year-old girl attempting her first 40 meter ski run)  The most effective influencers start with developing skills and THEN work on motivation.  Skills are a substantial part of influence.
--involve people in far more deliberate practice.
--the practice setting must approximate the real world
--small bites with a lot of feedback and coaching
--intense focus for brief periods
--immediate feedback

3)  Social Motivation --  how to get people to comply with driving lane laws (sign 'Report HOV Lane Violations 921-HERO')--sent brochure to those reported; 2nd violation another reminder; 3rd another reminder = number of lane violators dropped by 80%   --  social motivation of being watched by others shifts behaviors
--use the influence of others through modeling, praise, helping and enabling
--social support--replace companions with better role models
4)  Social Ability -- see above

5)   Structural Motivation -- incentives for getting ahead

6)  Structural Ability-- How to influence people to use the stairs rather than the escalator?  (installed a cue to help them make a choice  "Want to burn 7 calories?" and this raised the rate of those taking the stairs. --the effect of signs, design, data, cues, tools and other influences

positive effect of things like passbooks for savings.

These six things work either for us or against us.  Those who used six sources of influence were TEN times likelier to produce profound behavior change.

(return to story of Jane and see the result of her change--a new home she had saved for and a place for her four employees to work--sign on the wall read "God can bless you from nothing to something")

Leadership is intentional influence.

Learn how to take apart these influence problems and learn to make good choices easier and obvious and bad behavior harder and conscious.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Mark Burnett

Unscripted Leadership--

Mark Burnett's business in the US started by selling T-shirts on the Venice Beach.  In Europe if you don't come from the right upbringing doors are closed.  Mark started buying $2.00 slightly damaged T-shirts and reselling them for $18.00.

Bill:  In the beginning your ideas were rejected.  How did you handle this?

Mark:  When I hear NO, I hear Next Opportunity.  I kicked the doors down to get The Bible series on television.  When Jesus calls you, you have to get your ass off the couch and do something.

Bill:  When I came to see a viewing of The Bible, you were kind of down.  Do you remember what happened?

Mark:  We were feeling a little bit of an attack and I was feeling defensive.  I explained to Bill that we needed help in counteracting the attacks.  Bill turned to me and looked me in the eye and said, "I'm going to help you but stop acting defensively and start acting offensively, and that changed everything."

Bill:  I could tell you felt very strongly you should do this.  How do you describe the success of this series.  What happened?

Mark:  It's not about us but this has nothing to do with us.  This is completely and utterly the Holy Spirit.  You know, we prayed so hard and found the time to try to be still and listen to God.  We were given courage in our prayers and this is a nation that is absolutely built on the Bible and on faith.  This is a nation that is in need of hope and in need of that message.  We came along with The Bible series at the right time in our nation's history.  It has become the #1 series of 2013.

This is global.  It did great in Canada and beat out hockey.  It was also #1 in Spain, in Portugal and in Colombia (except for one night when it was beaten by the Ten Commandments).  It's helped people to start conversations.  It's a great thing to use.  It was God's plan and it's continued.

Bill:  One of your deeply held leadership values is "Choose your companions before you choose your road."

Mark:  It's important to travel with the right people and to choose people on your team who will build the team.  You don't want to keep around people who are energy suckers.  You've got to make the tough choices.  In a normal work day you spend the energy at a steady rate but dealing with tough people will drain all your energy.  Unresolved conflicts will drain your energy.  Not everybody is the right player on the right team.

Bill:  You said you team up creative people with finance people and force them to work together.

Mark:  Everyone on my shows is teamed to know they need each other.  They need to work together.  Mistakes are very costly.  If the person at the top isn't wise or courageous enough to give responsibility to other areas it won't work.  If you want to lead big teams you can't do it all yourself.   I manage from an arm's length.  Producers should not be doing the editing; it's insulting.   Hire the right people and empower them.  You're not there to do the job for them.

Bill:  If you have a creative team and you let them dream up a show, do you let them dream free without a budget or give them a budget first.

Mark:  If someone came to me and pitched a show without a budget and a schedule I'd think they were insane.  That would be completely crazy.  It's hard to get a show on the air.  I don't want to pitch a show without a great story but also need a budget and a schedule.  It's not a game.

Bill:  I always think we should dream in the context of a budget.

Mark:  We did The Bible for 22 million when it would have normally cost 100 million.  You need a sense of the skill set of what it takes to do it.  The easiest thing to do is to waste money.  With The Bible we didn't want to tell people how to feel, we wanted them to feel it .  Making shows from a Christian perspective doesn't give you permission to make them crappy.

Bill:  When you made The Bible there is one scene that strikes you more deeply and you chose one for this crowd to see (clip of "Mary Did You Know?" with scenes from The Bible series)

Bill:  Here's the last thing I want to say today.  Mark stepped out in faith and made a movie that made a difference.  Bob Goff, a lawyer, used his career to rescue children.  Find a way to lead where you are.  You only have between this day and your final day to make a play for God and to serve others and heal up this broken world.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Bob Goff


Love Takes Action--

Like you, I want this life of ours to count.  I want to be part of this because if we lead strong we're going to lead people to Jesus.

We get our signals crossed.  We want to lead strong but we get it wrong from time to time.

I started memorizing stuff about Jesus and went to Bible studies and memorized more stuff.  I realized I was stalking Jesus.  What I decided was that I just wanted to learn from Him.

I John 3:16--Jesus laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters....let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.

If you answer the questions "Who are You?" and "What do You want?" you will lead well.  Every time someone asks "How are you doing?" think to yourself--I'm trying to be perfect like my Father in heaven is perfect.  I'm trying to move from just believing in Jesus to doing stuff.

1) Love God
2) Love people
3) Do stuff

When I do stuff things happen but we've gotta figure out the right stuff to do.  Find out what you were made to do and do a lot of that.  What is it that Jesus made me to do?

Paul says, "Live a life worthy of the calling YOU'VE received."  What is your calling?

Polaroid picture--develops over time.  Let your calling develop over time.  Remember we see through a mirror dimly so it takes a while to get a clear picture.

(Told a story of his 19-year-old son learning to land a plane on a small lake while he let him do it and said nothing.)  Leadership--the idea is to tell those following us "Land the plane," and to let them do it.

Some of you are 'posing'--just live a life worthy of the calling YOU'VE received.  (Story of his wife when he met her)  Maria saw who I was becoming. See people for who they're becoming.  Jesus told Peter, "You're a rock."  When we see people for who they're becoming we'll blow them away.

Justice has been my calling and I've often been in Uganda where there are many incidents of child sacrifice.  People believe parts of the child may have some magical powers--used by witch doctors.  Kavi (a witch doctor) cut off a child's genitals and left him for dead but the child didn't die.  The 8-year-old child, Charlie, testified against Kavi, and we got a conviction.  I later met a surgeon who said he could fix the child's injuries and would do it for free.  I flew to Uganda to get Charlie.  First I became his legal guardian and then flew him to the US.   He ended up eventually being invited to the White House and then went to Disney World before the operation.

I later went to visit with Kavi in the prison.  Kavi said he felt bad and started talking about witchcraft and then said he needed forgiveness.  Kavi came to Christ.   Kavi reads Scripture and he actually wants to do it.  So we asked if Kavi could present the gospel to all the death row inmates and the warden said "yes."  Kavi screwed up the presentation and the only thing he got right was Jesus.  Then prisoners started coming to Christ and Kavi grabbed a water bottle and started baptizing them.

Think of what God has done.  Land the plane.  Be awesome.  Be perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect.

Nothing will ever, ever, ever (like a Taylor Swift song) separate us from the love of God.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Chris Brown


Right Title, Wrong Kingdom--

Story of a leader of the army being called at every day by a Philistine giant.  Never saw the story from the eyes of Saul, the leader.  Spiritual leadership will always be different than secular leadership--but God gave them a king.  King Saul was head and shoulders above the rest but for a month Saul has been called out every day.  He knows he doesn't have what it takes.  His ministry is paralyzed; his leadership is paralyzed; and he knows it; his army knows it.

After 40 days when your leadership is questioned and you know this company is not going forward and it's because of you and a boy comes up and says he has what it takes.  At this point any neck is better than yours.

Little did Jesse know his youngest son would disobey him on that day.  The giant falls; they rout their enemies, and Saul does what every leader does, he says, "I hired him."  He put David in charge.

In 1 Samuel 18:5 it says Saul gave David a high rank in the army but then the women began to sing "Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands."  Now Saul had to decide whose title and whose kingdom is important.

Saul is angry and jealous (What more can he get but the kingdom?).  Saul didn't have room in his chariot for David.  Saul could not celebrate the achievements of others.

Saul thought it was HIS kingdom.  It was all about him.  This is the way we make it MY church, MY staff, MY team.  After all, I built this.

Contrast with Pharaoh who brought Joseph out of prison.  Joseph told his brothers about HIS dream as a young man and God said, "You need slavery."  Pharaoh later hires Joseph and gives him authority.  A pagan king 'gets' what the king of Israel doesn't 'get'.

In the twelve Jesus picked to be His disciples, the Bible tells the truth about their hearts--their desire to be greatest.  Jesus explains to them his upcoming death and probably Jesus could hear their conversation as they argued about which would be greatest.  

There's nothing wrong with desire but we have to remember "Whose Kingdom is this?"

James and John ask him to be #1 and #2 and Jesus pulls the brake and in Mark 10:41--the other 10 are upset and Jesus sets them straight on what spiritual leadership means.  "Not so with you.  Whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all."  Spiritual leadership is not the same.  Many growing leaders have to leave a church because there's "no room at the top" and it's made clear there is "only one leader".  "Yeah but he didn't start the company.  He didn't build the church."  Insecure leaders have to have that title and position  The true leader will wash the feet of his staff, even when they run away.

To be true leaders--we have to call 'sin' sin.  We have to address the pride in our lives and ministries.  At North Coast Church there are 4 senior pastors.   When they heard Chris Brown was speaking at the Summit they said, "Why not Larry?" (the founder and first pastor)  The first thing Larry said was, "Chris we just won.  We don't care who teaches the message as long as the message is being taught."

Jesus said I want you to make your team better.  Consider others better than yourselves.  Challenging those in the marketplace to let your leadership be about others IF you want to be great.

1)  Because Jesus said so
2) When we do this we will become healthier and have a healthier team and organization.  Fifty years ago most churches were local and now many are global and we need to share the room at the top.
3)  We have personality-driven organizations and worry about succession;  if we don't figure this out, many churches will be vacant because we've made God's Church a hierarchy
4)  Our calling has to trump our cultures

Don't say, God called ME to be the senior pastor--no, he called you to be the servant of all.  Can we do this as a team?  With the title I've been given, how can I be the best Jesus I can be?

1)  Do you have room in your chariot for another leader?
      --Can you celebrate another leader, even if they're taking your glory
2)  Do I expand HIS Kingdom or my reputation?
3)  What difference is the Holy Spirit making in the way I currently lead?

Jesus said before He went back to heaven--I have all the authority and I choose you.  You are God's plan A because I know if you're following me you'll give it to others.  Do you have room for another chair?  another seat?  It'll cost you, but it cost Him a whole lot more.  He gave it away to the point of death.  May we be a people who wrestle with this.  May we stop relishing in the title and position and serve our team and make them better than us.  May we learn to celebrate the success of others beyond ourselves.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Liz Wiseman

The Multiplier Effect--

How the best leaders make everyone smarter

Began with the small observation of seeing there was more intelligence in our organization than can be seen with the naked eye.  We have latent intelligence all around us.  As a multiplier you use your intelligence to amplify the capability of people around you.  People around you do their best work when you lead like a multiplier.

Larry Gelwix--High School rugby coach with 410 wins to 10 losses.  He attributed this to asking his players to be intelligenct both on and off the field.  He helped them find their genius.  Magnified strengths.

Wangari Maathai--planted trees beginning with 7 seedlings and a small group of women.  Seeing deforestation, she asked "why not plant trees?"  Began a massive movement by seeing a possibility.

KR Sridhar--manufacturer in energy industry.  Created pressure without stress.  With pressure you have control, with stress you don't.

Who has been a multiplier in your life?  A diminisher?

What did your diminisher do?
How much intelligence did he/she get out of you?  0-100%
(in one poll, the average was 43%)

What did your multiplier do?
How much intelligence did he/she get out of you?  0-100%
(in one poll, the average was 95%)

Diminishers--empire builders; tyrants; know-it-alls; create stress; (under stress we become stupid); don't ask other people to do what they cannot; decision makers on big things and only delegate small decisions; micro-managers

Multipliers--talent magnets who believe people are smart and will figure it out; identify people's genius and help them put it to work at its fullest; liberators--create space and expect their workers' best thinking; challengers--make the big ask;  debate makers; investors

Working for Diminishers--exhausting

Working for Multipliers--exhausting but exhilarating

The accidental diminisher--is well-trained but doesn't realize their diminishing effect;  do we do the most damage when we hold the most noble intentions?;  How can we do this?--

--Idea Guy (you come up with all the ideas) thinking they will spark other ideas but instead nothing gets done because there are so many ideas;
--Always On--dominant; begin to tune them out;
--Rescuer--'helping' instead of allowing people to learn
--Pacesetter--others will follow my lead; actually become disengaged and hold back because they can't keep up;  create spectators
--Rapid Responder--always moving fast
--Optimist--'can do' manager;  never allows room for error or hard projects; won't acknowledge how hard some things are

You can have a diminishing effect and be totally unaware

What are things we can do NOW to be more of a multiplier?--
(what if you spoke to your children only in the form of questions?)  She took this to try with her management team at work

To be a multiplier means that people are smart around you and leave you feeling that they are the smartest person.  What's one small thing you can do to 'shift your weight' toward multiplying?

At the top of the genius hierarchy is not the genius but the genius maker.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Patrick Lencioni

How To Lose Your Best People--

I'm excited to be here and I'm excited to give this particular talk--my favorite.  I need to confess this book and this talk are really simple.  It's just a reminder.  When you're a leader you're a CRO Chief Reminder Officer.

When I was 8 or 9 years old my dad (a salesman) would come home from work and complain every night and I felt bad for him.  I was sad to think about getting a job and wished I could do something about this.

I later went to college and I studied hard so I could get a good job.  When I graduated I interviewed at a place ranked #1 and before I accepted we were wined and dined and I accepted the job.  Two days into that job I felt I was going to be miserable.

I like the show "Dirty Jobs" because they have dirty jobs but seem to be happy in them.  I think of all the CEOs who are miserable.  Then I realized it's about getting a job that's fulfilling or miserable.

3 things that cause job misery--

1)  Anonymity--people you work for don't know you, don't care to.  You are just a commodity.  Professional football teams--went to training camp and found many professional athletes are miserable because they have no connections.   If your manager doesn't care about you, then you aren't happy.  When you take the time to get to know someone, it's a huge factor.  Good people don't leave jobs where they're known.   So why don't we do this?  When we don't stop to take an interest in people's lives it's like throwing money out of our pockets.  Sometimes we are busy, sometimes we're embarrassed because we haven't done it in the past (do it anyway).  We are called to love the people who work for us.

2)  Irrelevance--If you don't think your job matters, you cannot love your work. If you have a job with no value you can't love your work.   Even the most menial job can be seen as bringing joy to others.   All people want to be needed and it's our job as managers to help them realize the relevance in their work.  The happiest professional athletes are those who get involved in other things.  If you're just scoring touchdowns you feel like you're going to implode.  The hardest people to help find relevance is administrative assistants because we don't want to admit that their purpose is to make our jobs easier.  Thank them for it and tell them how they make your life different.

3)  Immeasurement--Everyone needs the ability to assess if they're doing a good job.  We need to be able to self-evaluate.  The more we have a sense of intrinsic success the better we like our jobs.  It's not always a number.  We have a desire to have something in place that lets us know if we're doing a good job.  Sometimes we don't encourage this as leaders because when we give up control we lose our power.

These are the reasons people leave our organizations.  These things are free and easy and can be a game changer.  Implementing these things can be a life changer.  Management is ultimately a ministry.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Gen. Colin Powell

It Worked For Me--

Colin says he was raised in a loving immigrant family--went to public schools in NYC--just a kid trying to make it.  As he visited other countries people would ask him when he graduated from West Point.  (He never went to a military school) He went to City College of New York.   He never had a dream of what he would become.

Leadership is getting more out of people than the science of management says you can.  You do this by having a purpose and inspiring people to reach beyond themselves.    Started to learn this as a brand new second lieutenant.  It was drilled into him then--even though I'm the leader it's the followers who get it done.  You get nowhere without followers who want to follow you.

You need to focus your efforts on the followers.  Give them a sense of purpose. Purpose is--what are we doing this for?  How are we making a contribution?   Every night when I left my office I would always talk to the person who came in to clean it.  I wanted her to know she had a purpose.  I wanted her to know I couldn't achieve my purpose as Secretary of State unless she achieved her purpose of cleaning the room.

There is no such thing as an unimportant person in an organization.  You have to constantly show people their purpose.  Every person's individual purpose gives you the means to achieve the grand purpose.

Leadership is always about followership.

The early shaping he got made him who he is.  Tells a story about Ronald Reagan.  One morning Gen. Powell went into the Oval Office to talk with him and told him about a problem and Reagan is paying no attention but is looking out at the Rose Garden--Reagan is still paying no attention.  Reagan then exclaims, "Look!  The squirrels came and got the nuts I put out this morning."  Powell left and went back to his office to reflect on this.  Felt he was really saying, "Colin, I love you, and I'll sit here and listen to you tell me about your problem.  But until you tell me it's MY problem, I'm going to watch the squirrels."

The point is that you need to trust the people under you to take care of their problems and make their decisions.  Empower them.

Give subordinates a zone in which they can make decisions.  You have to trust them.  You need to make sure you are acting in a way that allows them to trust you.

In 1988 the Japanese were buying 'everything'--Rockefeller Center, Pebble Beach, etc.  President Reagan listened to the problem, then looked back at his staff who were all upset and said, "Well, you know, I'm glad they think America is a good investment."

Good leaders have visions and themes and constantly repeat them.

If you want to be a good leader, take care of your troops.
Have a destination and plan and execute to get there.
People say "Failure is not an option," but it always is and good leaders know that.

Continuing in an interview with Bill Hybels--

Bill tells of being at Vietnam War Memorial with Colin Powell where he greeted wounded vets and said, "Were you a good soldier?"

Colin:  It was a rhetorical question.  I know they were good.  They don't want pity, they want their service respected.  I want to thank them for their service and hear them tell me their story.  I never say "sorry" but I say "I know it had to be tough.  Thank you for your service."

Bill:  There is a lurking issue of racism in our country.  Do you feel you were a victim of racism and had to overcome minority status?

Coin:  Yes, when I entered the Army in 1954 there was still much segregation.  In 1958 the military was one of the most progressive social organizations in the country.   in mid-70s selected be a commander and some said he was selected because of affirmative action.  Colin said it was up to him to prove his worth as a leader.  He says there is still need for us to work on racism in this country.  Each of us has the responsibility to help someone else move on up.

Bill:  You do a lot of leadership by proverbs or axioms.  I'll say one and you respond.  First is "It'll look different in the morning."

Colin:  It may not, and a day can go very bad but I go to bed with hope that it will be better in the morning.  It's a hope; an attitude; an aspiration.  We're gonna make it better.  Always come in prepared to do your best the next day.

Bill:  "perpetual optimism is a force multiplier."

Colin:  You always look for a way to make your force more powerful and perpetual optimism will do that.  His staff says he never gets too down but never too up.  People look to the leader for confidence and reassurance.  You don't want a leader who will suddenly have a tantrum.  You have to persuade people that it is in their interest to share the corporate interest and not order them around.

Bill:  "Get mad but get over it."

Colin:  Everyone gets mad; it's a human emotion;  If you act while you're mad you're not at your best.  My staff knew I would get mad and they would leave me alone.  You can't stay mad or the whole organization is contaminated.

Bill:  How do you know when to fire someone or give them a second chance?

Coin:  I try to adapt to the personalities of my subordinates.  I have to find out their strengths and weaknesses.  Where there is a weakness I work with them.  On a few occasions the person would not work with me and I've had to let them go.  You have good followers and they don't like bad followers getting it over them.  If you don't have the guts to remove them, there's a cloud over the organization.  Leaders solve problems and if you don't solve problems people will lose confidence in you.  Makes people think you don't care.

Bill:  When you see an aspiring leader, what characteristic do they manifest that's a red flag to you?

Colin:  Ego.  I've seen people who could get the job done but they've never learned humility.  I can't work with them.

Bill:  Have you ever had to tell someone they're not cut out to be a leader:

Colin:  Yes, a number of officers are perfect where they are but should not go higher.  You should promote people on the basis of their potential not their performance.   Some people need to get off the train and sometimes you need to throw them.

Bill:  What leader on the world stage did you have respect for:

Colin:  I won't single out one because that's a disservice.  I'm a product of everyone who's ever intersected my life.  You mentioned Nelson Mandela--when he came out of prison he was asked if he wanted to get even and Nelson said, "If I felt that way I'd still be in prison."

Bill:  "Tell me early."

Colin:  I want to know about the problem early.  Don't work on it before you tell me about it.  I want to have time to study it.  You have to create an environment where people are willing to tell you when there's trouble.

Bill:  What has God taught you about Himself in the past 5 years.

Coin:  I was baptized and attend St. John's Episcopalian Church.  I've decided to serve young people.  I adopted a school in Northwest DC and the youth at the church are serving with them.

Bill:  What challenge would you give to pastors and preachers?

Colin:  We come to church to learn more about our faith and we also want it made relevant to the world in which we're living.  Tell us how to apply what we learn with relevancy.  You have to be challenged.  You have to challenge people or they just sit and watch.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Bill Hybels

The Courage of Leadership--

Leadership demands a non-stop flow of fortitude.  Leadership is not for the faint of heart.  Without God's help leadership is almost impossible to sustain.  Right now the world is reflecting on the courage of Nelson Mandela who is lying near death.  He courageously worked through his life to end apartheid in his country.  He is quoted as saying this was "A cause for which I am fully prepared to die."

Courage correlates to every single component of leadership.  Courage is critical to vision.  Vision is a picture of the future that creates passion in people.  God made you a leader to move people from 'here' to 'there'.  This looks so easy when you draw a line on a flip chart but, in reality, it requires far more courage than onlookers can imagine.

Willow Creek's new Care Center was constructed on their campus recently.  The elders moved ahead with this project in the midst of a deep recession.  This was a time when the poor needed help but also when it was challenging to raise money.  Their regular budget was 2 million dollars behind.  Yet Bill prayed for courage and presented the vision.

Over the course of 3 years they experienced God's presence as they saw and felt God move.  The entire 10 million was raised before they broke ground.  The facility includes a full-choice free grocery store, a clothing boutique, and an auto shop that refurbishes cars to give to single moms.

Every significant vision that God births in you is going to put your courage to the test.  A certain percentage of people will always resist the vision.  Another percentage will have a 'wait and see' attitude.  No one wants to move half way and not finish the job.  So many leaders secretly abort their vision without telling anyone about it.  They send it back to God and say it's 'too risky'.

Throughout history God has sent visions to leaders around the world that would make great social life-enhancing changes--visions that were snuffed out because the leader felt the cost was too high.  The deaths of these visions occurred in secret.  Should we lay the blame for this on God or on the feet of a large number of cowardly, gutless leaders?

A high percentage of us have a vision hidden in us right now but we lack bravery.

There comes a day when we realize we have to live with ourself and we have to stand before God so we tell ourselves the truth of Joshua 1:9 --that God is with us wherever we go.

God make us leaders not to sit and suck air but to move people from 'here' to 'there' despite our fear.  Don't go to your grave with a vision dead inside you.

What a colossal tragedy it is to abort our visions.  Our visions are holy commodities.  Don't kill them off in a late-night fit of cowardliness.  Say Joshua 1:9 over and over and then get up and walk in faith toward that vision.

Second component of leadership is the courage to define current reality.  This is an essential component.  All leaders are always leading--either when the organization is going down or is status quo or is in an upturn.  Each of these situations requires different leadership.

In a downturn, a leader has to declare an emergency, to create a plan, and to get it going fast.  Seasoned leaders have to come up with a way of signaling the danger and be a little dramatic about it.

If an organization is in status quo, the leader has to set a fire.  The leader has to build a case that status quo is dangerous and is almost always the precursor to certain demise.  They need to plan how to break out and get the organization going.

If an organization is in an upturn they need to keep it moving and plan for the future.

Leaders who hear the above lecture nod their heads and then e-mail Bill to confide that the toughest part is to admit what reality they are in.  It's hard to face the truth.

If you lead long enough, you will experience all three of these realities.  Once you have the courage to define the reality, you can lead your organization out of it.  Your whole team knows what reality your organization is in and are waiting for you to recognize it and lead them out of it.

What reality is YOUR organization in?  As soon as possible, go to your team and confer with them about it.

The third component of leadership is the courage to build a fantastic culture.  Bill talked of the courage it took to bring in an outside organization to rate his church's culture.  He knew it would hurt to hear the truth, but he knew it was the right thing to do.  The results were ugly and painful.  The tool used was "The Best Christian Workplace" -- lower than 3.75 was a toxic culture with unresolved conflict, people who don't like each other, etc.  If you're in the 4.0 range it's comfortable but not great.  The 4.25 is flourishing (where the magic and the power lie).  In the first year Willow's score was 3.82 and it was devastating to Bill.  Many comments on the survey were filled with hurt and disappointment.  Over the next weeks they prayed courageously and began to put action plans together.  They knew it would take hundreds of meetings to get people to build trust.

By the third year they had raised into the 'healthy' level and it was evident.

Important truth:  People join organizations.  They leave managers.

Began to train managers and make staff culture a priority.  Now managers are rated not only on what they achieve but also on how they manage their staff..

In recent year Willow scored a 4.33.

Bill was asked whose job it was to drive the changes in the culture?  He had to admit it was up to him. *** Staff culture will only ever be as healthy as the senior pastor or CEO wants it to be.***Enormous courage beginning with brave apologies will be required to change the culture.

Bill had to look staff members in the eye and tell them things had to change or they would have to leave.  Only 'culture builders' will have jobs at Willow.  We will no longer pay people to bruise and bust our culture.

You cannot believe the increased performance from a healthy culture.  When all the people in the boat are rowing the race will be run every single time.  Performance this year was so good they declared the first week of July "Gratitude to God" week and sent the whole staff home with pay to enjoy their families.

How healthy is your staff culture?  Pray on your knees for courage, then get up off your knees and start fixing your culture.  Get ready for outcomes you never thought were possible.

The fourth component of leadership that requires courage is the establishment and enforcement of values.  The more we use social media the hungrier we get for true community--knowing and being known in person.  At Willow they are building loving communities in each of the seating sections in their auditorium with a 'section pastor' for each.

When the granddaughter of a Willow staff member was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. and died shortly after her 5th birthday, the staff member was in Hong Kong right after her death and went to church there.  He had a wave of grief and cried all during the service and no one reached out to him.  Bill was so upset and then became concerned that this could happen at Willow also.  He then called meetings at Willow and led them to establish the value of community.

You have to come to the time when you go beyond casting vision to throw down the gauntlet and declare a value is being established.

Since January at Willow they have seen care levels rise dramatically.  This was driven by community being declared a value.

Direct your wishing, hoping, and praying to asking God to help you to have the courage to declare a value.  For some of you God wanted you to come to the Summit to hear this one point.

There are so many other components of leadership that are courage-intensive--like the courage to lead in the face of criticism or disappointment.  Bill tells of a woman who was pinned between two cars and badly injured after the 5th Easter service.  They had one more service to lead that day and had to rally to get through it.  During seasons of personal need, Joshua's prayer has to be in front of you.

The courage for a leader to finish strong--If you lead an organization long enough you will have to totally reinvent the organization and yourself more than once.  This requires a unique form of bravery.  You will have to watch staff leave.

Some of the most rewarding experiences in a leader's marathon are reserved for quite late in the race.  Maybe God arranges it that way to sweeten the race.  Bill says he's glad he didn't miss the events of the last few years at Willow.  He started Willow at age 22 and the lawyer asked him why he was starting a church and Bill said, "To change people's lives."  The lawyer told him people don't change.  Bill told him, "I'm betting my whole life on you being wrong about that, pal."  Recently Bill was conducting a baptism and felt a prompting from God to stop the baptism and tell the congregation that "God loves you just the way you are today."  He then gave an invitation for those who would come to begin a relationship with God right then.  Then he closed his eyes to pray and then heard movement and opened his eyes to see people streaming to the front to be baptized--even in their street clothes.  Bill's heart was bursting with joy and he thought of that attorney and wanted to tell him, "People's lives do change and they're changing right now."  Bill says, "All I really want with the rest of my life is to see Him transform people's lives and destinies."

...  so many of God's great rewards for leaders are reserved for late in the race so do not bail on your mission.  Endure.  Finish strong.  Do not quit.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back To The Basics

I've been struggling to figure out how to promote bonding on our Operation Christmas Child team.  With different people in attendance at each meeting it seems difficult to figure out how to work as a team.

When I told Leigh Fisher, my regional director, that all my team really wants to do is pack boxes, she suggested we do that at a meeting.

So last night we had an indoor picnic.  And we packed boxes.

Old school.

Not a huge assembly line with thousands of pre-assembled boxes and hundreds of volunteers to manage.

We packed regular shoe boxes wrapped with actual wrapping paper.   We chose items individually for the child who would receive the box.  We cut labels and taped them on.

And each of us took our boxes home to pray over them between now and National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child (November 18-25, 2013)

35 boxes.  35 children.  35 gospel opportunities.

Back to the basics.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Storage Wars

This is a picture of our storage container last year.  It looked neat and orderly.  This year it does not.

This morning I stood AGAIN in that little bit of dwindling space and prayed over the mishmash of bags and boxes.  I still need to order 24 cases of soap and a delivery of 44,000 pens are on their way already.  And only 10,230 stuffed animals are in that container now.  We still need more than 10,000 more BUT if God provides them, where will I put them? 

We're behind when it comes to planning this year.  The packing party is less than 8 weeks away and we haven't had a steering team meeting yet.  Am I (we) testing God by not doing what I (we) should be doing to prepare?

I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Esther with a group of women at church.  In the workbook today, I read the following question: "When was the last time you felt like an unseen enemy was trying to blast his way through your gate with the force and repetition of a battering ram?"

I think that happens pretty frequently.  I hear that Father of Lies over and over whispering or shouting in my head three things:  1) you're all alone in this;  2)  you're crazy to think God will provide again;  3) (the big one--the 'q word') QUIT.

That litany rang again over and over in my head as I prayed in that container this morning.  Yes, I KNOW  1)  Hebrews 13:5;  2) Phil. 4:19; 3) Phil. 2:13.

Those promises are stored in my head....

so why do I have these wars?