Thursday, August 14, 2014

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Carly Fiorina


(Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit in an effort to improve my leadership as a volunteer with Operation Christmas Child.  Learn more about OCC at ) --  Carly Fiorina speaks on

Defining Leadership

Before I begin my talk I want to tell you about myself.  All of us learn life's lessons from living life.  When I was 8 years old my mother was my Sunday school teacher and my mother gave me a plaque that said, "What you are is God's gift to you; what you make of yourself is your gift to God."  I did not feel gifted.   I went to work out of college as a secretary and the business owners came to me and asked if I wanted to learn about the company.  They saw possibilities in me that I didn't see in myself.  I later became the head of Hewlett-Packard and now serve on the board of organizations that help give a hand up to those who need .  I have seen the look in a child's eyes when they get a brand new backpack full of stuff because it isn't 'stuff' to them.  I've had triumphs and tragedies in my life and I always knew I was not alone.  I've learned a few basic things--

--leadership is the same no matter what the context is
--everyone has potential and more potential than most of us realize--human potential is the only limitless resource we have in this world.  Why do so many fail to reach their potential?  Some don't have a chance because of sujugation or lack of tools or opportunity or because they lost faith in themselves, others, or God.

Some things that crush potential:  fear; bureaucracy (rules-based, process-driven organization)--bureaucracies forget who they are intended to serve

What things unlock potential?--leadership;  The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of others.

What leadership is NOT:

--It is not management-- management is the production of acceptable results within known constraints and conditions;  a good manager can be a leader but management and leadership are not the same;   a leader says "I am going to change these conditions."  Leadership is about changing the order of things.

--It is not necessarily the person in the corner office with a title -- anyone who wants to move persons from here to there by changing the order is a leader

examples:  Martin Luther King who changed the face of the nation but started as a pastor;  Nelson Mandela -- was not a leader because he became president; he became president because he was a leader.  He led as a prisoner while in jail.
Jesus -- symbol of powerlessness as a baby in a manger -- a nobody who recruited other nobodies;  He knew the potential of the poor
You--why are you here?  because a young man several decades ago started a ministry with the view of unlocking the potential of others.

Leadership is not about a big budget -- it's about unlocking the potential in others.

What do leaders do?--

Leadership Framework --

--Strategy; goals; vision (Where are we going and why are we going there?)

--Organization; team; process (Who is on the team?  What processes are important?)

--Metrics; results (How do we measure progress?  How do we reward success?  What gets measured is what gets done.)

--Culture Behavior (What's it like to work around here?  Ethics?--the leader has to set the tone and model the behavior)

Set the frame and set them free.  Let the people under you reach their potential.

20/20 rule -- When people embark on a leadership journey remember -- 20% of most people in an organization are change warriors -- identify, harness, and enlist those warriors;  20% of people are "hell no, I won't go" people who refuse to change--identify them and resolve because they are the source of resistance.  The other 60% are waiting skeptics and change won't happen unless that 60% get engaged and move.

Everyone has more potential than they realize.  Everyone has the capacity to lead.  Leaders are made, not born.  Leadership is changing the order of things.  Leadership is unlocking the potential of others.

Leadership is a profoundly human gift available to all.  All of us have the potential to make a positive difference, to change the order, to unlock the potential of others.

True leadership requires faith.  A love of God makes leadership easier.  Faith gives us the gift of humility and true leadership requires understanding it is not "about you" but about others and having a servant heart.  Faith gives us the gift of optimism--the leader must know things can be better.

The most important gift is to have faith in others.  You must know people can and will rise to the occasion and will use their potential to make a positive difference.

Faith teaches us that all of us are gifted by God and that knowledge propels a leader.

Leadership is a choice.  It can be exhausting but there is a look that people get in their eyes when their potential has been unlocked and that look is the same everywhere in the world and that look is all the repayment a leader needs.

Choose to lead.  Choose to change the order of things.  Choose to fulfill your own potential and choose to unlock the potential of others.

What we are is God's gift to us;  what we make of ourselves is our gift to God.

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