Bill Hybels on “The Lenses of Leadership” from Leadership Summit 2016


I’m at the leadership summit with the team from Revolution Church. This is by far the best leadership conference of the year. So much wisdom and inspiration wrapped up into two days. I always blog my notes, so if you can’t attend or missed something, I’ve got you covered.

In session 1 Bill Hybels talked about The Lenses of Leadership. He had 4 different lenses on stage, that represented how leaders look at the world around them and the organization/team they lead: the passionate  leader, shattered lenses (which shows a leader who doesn’t know what could exist), performance lenses, and lenses with a review mirror to see what is behind you (legacy lens of leadership).

Here are some takeaways:

  • Armed with enough humility can learn from anyone and that is an enormous key to leadership.
  • Leadership is leading people from here to there.
  • Leadership is moving people, energizing people.
  • Leadership is moving people to a preferred future.
  • For team members to pay the price to go from here to there, they will have to feed off the passion of their leader.
  • The highest inspiration for team members is to work for and around a passion filled leader. This is more important than money, benefits and everything else.

How does a leader get passionate?

  • Passion is derived from mountains of a beautiful dream or the depths of frustration that is going terribly wrong.
  • Have you encountered something that frustrates you? That you can’t stand anymore? That’s your dream.
  • Question to consider: How full is your passion bucket?
  • Question to consider: Whose job is it to keep your passion bucket full?

Shattered people lenses

  • Many leaders have shattered lenses who don’t know how to be emotionally healthy and creating a healthy team.
  • An organization will only be as healthy as the top leader wants it to be.
  • The leader can choose if the culture will be high functioning and caring.
  • Religion is all the things you do to appease a God you know you’ve disappointed.
  • What this world needs is not more pastors of churches but pastors who lead their businesses, schools and the military well.
  • The job of the leader is to destroy transactional noise. The talk that keeps people from performing well and kills morale. Transactional noise is when someone who is a jerk and gets promoted and people are mad (water cooler talk).
  • Leaders need to develop the skill of talent observation. 

The Performance Lens

  • Speed of the leader, speed of the team.
  • The leader must help the team maximize team performance.
  • A leader must lay out challenges and goals.
  • Team members always want to know what the leader thinks of how they are doing.
  • Don’t have too many goals because it will lead you to work in ways you aren’t proud.
  • You also can’t simply be faithful to your calling and have no goals. That’s laziness.
  • Are you thriving, healthy or underperforming as a team or organization?
  • It is cruel and unusual punishment for a leader not telling his team how they are doing.

The Legacy Lens

  • What people remember about you when you are gone. Everyone will leave a leadership legacy.
  • Leadership is not about time, it is about energy. It is about where you spend your energy (what you think about, focus, decision making).
  • Leadership can become a legal drug that other things will have a hard time competing against.
  • God never intended for our vocations to crowd out other parts of our lives.
  • When you look into the rearview mirror, do you like the legacy you are leaving behind?
  • Legacies can change in an instant with a simple choice.
  • Leadership matters and it matters disproportionately.
  • Question to consider: How do you need to get better? How do you need to grow as a leader?
  • Question to consider: What is your passion? What is your dream? Are you feeding your passion? Are you keeping your vision bucket full?
  • Question to consider: How many of you have shattered people lenses? Do you know what a healthy team culture looks like? Feels like?
  • Question to consider: Do you need to slow your organization or team down? Do you let your team and organization flounder? Do people know what hill to climb? Does your team know if they’re winning?
  • Question to consider: Is your legacy one you are proud of? One your kids and spouse will be proud of?