On Leadership Summit

I’m writing from the Christian Life Center in Kalamazoo, MI, video venue for the Willow Creek Leadership Summit (Global) 2010. I’m reminded again of the importance of leadership development. Sometimes our care for the organization covers up the fact that we’re running on fumes. I like to read, I like to learn, I like to grow. But there’s nothing like sharing a worldwide experience with people at over 6,000 churches who are sharing in the journey, aching to grow as a leader — or working up to the ache.

Hearing Jim Collins describe, again, the idea of having the right people in the right seats on the bus is a refreshing reminder of the importance of team building. His definition of mediocrity is outstanding: chronic inconsistency. Jim mentioned making a do not do list. I forgot to do that, so I’m doing great so far.

United Methodist Pastor Adam Hamilton talked about the sad but true fact that leaders fall. Politicians, CEOs and pastors — all are susceptible to all kinds of temptation and failure, including sexually inappropriate misconduct that leads to only bad stuff. His “5 R’s of Resisting Temptation” were, even as he acknowledged, kinda tedious and trite, but we must remember that there is no magic bullet for resisting temptation, as he also said. Leaders must resist temptation; we’re humans, we’re built to reproduce, to have companionship and we’re bent toward sin. Not a mix that trends toward success without the Lord’s help. By the way, the 5 R’s are to

– Remember who you are (saying “Lord, I belong to you” and things like “I’m someone’s spouse, someone’s daddy”)

– Recognize the consequences of your actions (if I do this, what might happen? Imagine the worst possible scenario and let that play out in your mind)

– Rededicate to God (stop, drop, pray — ask the Lord for help)

– Reveal your struggles to a trusted friend (accountability counts)

– Remove yourself from the situation (run).

My favorite moments came while watching our video venue in Kalamazoo respond to the speakers in the Windy City. Sometimes, yes, video venue can be a little awkward, but I think people quickly adapt to the fact that they’re watching something happen over there but because we’re all together, we can still respond. Clap when the studio audience claps. Raise your hand like the speaker can see you (they can’t), etc. Christine Caine lit the room in KZoo up, pretty clearly indicating that video venue can work successfully. Pretty neat to see.

The quote that sticks out to me came from Good to Great’s Jim Collins, who defined mediocrity as “chronic inconsistency”, which I think is probably in at least one of his books. I resonate with that definition/diagnosis because I’m working through some consistency issues regarding 4 disciplines, including deep scripture study, blogging, exercising and journaling. When I hit all 4, it’s beautiful. When one is missing, the thing gets rocky. Or, if you will, mediocre.

Good times at Leadership Summit.

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