Leadership Summit: Bill Hybels


Bill Hybels opened the 2011 Global Leadership Summit. He talked about five challenging questions. Here are the highlights I grabbed from his talk:

1. What is your current challenge level at work?

  • (Are you under challenged, appropriately challenged or dangerously overly challenged?)
  • “Research shows you do your best work above the ‘appropriately challenged’ level.”
  • “If you are under challenged, step it up… If you don’t challenge yourself, your leadership gifts will atrophy.”
  • “Leaders have to take responsibility for replenishing their leadership bucket.”
  • “People who are under-challenged will leave.”
  • “I think it’s possible to over-rev an organization. And, I think it’s possible to under-challenge an organization.”

2. What is your plan for dealing with challenging people in your organization?

  • “Willow’s future is totally tied to the people we can attract and develop.”
  • “Our future is also tied to the people who are no longer fantastic.”
  • “How long are we going to let ‘Fantastic Fred’ spread his poison in our organization?”
  • “C’est la vie…which in in English means, ‘It sucks to be a leader in France.'”
  • Willow gives people 30 days to clean up their bad attitudes.
  • “How long do you live with someone who is no longer carrying their weight.” (“No longer worth their hire.”)
  • Willow gives people 3 months to turn around performance.
  • “No one questions a leader when you fire someone for a clear values violation.”
  • Willow gives 6 to 12 months when the organization outgrows the capacity of the leader.

3. Are you naming, facing and resolving the problems that exist in your organization?

  • “Why can’t we call problems ‘problems’ and turn over Heaven and Earth to resolve them?”
  • “Nothing ‘rocks’ or ‘booms’ forever. Everything has a season.”
  • Bill talked about a recent consulting process that helped them identify “problems” at Willow. They have built teams around facing and resolving those problems.
  • “Part of your job as leaders is to look problems straight in the eye.”
4. When is the last time you re-examined the core of what your organization is all about?
  • “Great leaders start all over again… ‘What business are we in? Are we clear about our core?'”
  • “Sometimes the best of us can get a little fuzzy about the message that transformed us.”
  • Bill’s 5 words to describe our core mission: love, evil, rescue, choice, restoration
5.  Have you had your leadership bell rung recently?
  • “Leaders rarely learn anything new without their world rocked in some way.”
  • “I got on my knees and prayed to God, ‘I need my boldness back.'”
  • “If you are sick enough of being stuck, you’ll get on the solution side.”
  • “Your job with God’s help is to move your organization from here to there.”
  • “If you don’t believe that anymore, step aside.”
  • “You tell me why your next five years can’t be your best five?”
  • “How you finish is how you will always be remembered. Don’t end it with a whimper.”
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About Author

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.

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