Notes from Bill Hybels on “The Kind of Leadership our World Needs” @ the Leadership Summit

I’m at the leadership summit with the team from Revolution Church. This is by far the best leadership conference of the year. This is my 14th summit and every year, God stretches me and challenges me. 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.

I love how every year Bill Hybels starts the summit by reminding us of the stakes of leadership. Such a needed, yearly reminder.

Here are some takeaways from the first session with Bill Hybels:

  • There is great power in believing in the possibility of leadership in people.
  • Someone believed in you as a leader before you ever led anything. They saw something in you.
  • There is so much power in expressing your belief in other people.
  • There is so much power when we encourage younger leaders.
  • How do leaders lead in an era of divisiveness and disrespect? The solution has to begin with me as a leader.
  • All I can control is me and how I ask those around me to live and work.

10 rules for respect every leader must obey

  1. Leaders set the example of how to differ with others without demonizing them.
  2. Leaders must set the example of how to have spirited conversations without drawing blood.
  3. Leaders must not interrupt others who are talking and must not dominate the conversation.
  4. Leaders must set the example of limiting their volume levels and refuse to use belittling words.
  5. Leaders must set the example of being courteous in word and deed.
  6. Leaders must never stereotype.
  7. Leaders must apologize when they’re wrong.
  8. Leaders must form opinions carefully and stay open minded if better information comes along.
  9. Leaders must set the example of showing up when they say they will show up.
  10. Leaders must set rules of respect and enforce them relentlessly.

Civility code

  1. We will greet each other and acknowledge each other.
  2. We will say please and thank you.
  3. We will treat each other with respect.
  4. We will be direct, sensitive and honest.
  5. We will address incivility whenever it occurs.

Leadership succession

Questions about succession:

  1. Who will make the decision on succession? Who has the final decision power?
  2. When will the decision be made? When will the succession happen?
  3. How will this transition be led?

Learnings on Succession:

  • Doing the hard work up front, really helps.
  • If a succession plan is long and complicated enough, it will motivate every leader to want to move on. Don’t let it drag on.
  • A long plan can make a drag on the vision of an organization.
  • Asking leaders to live in limbo can be very disruptive to a leadership team and staff.
  • It’s hard and complicated and it gets delicate.
  • As difficult as it is to build a high performing organization, it is harder to transition one.
  • Begin understanding that everything you lead and do is a season.
  • Is God writing an ending to your current season or role?

Challenges for leaders:

  • Spend 15 minutes each morning, read and reflect on your life, your leadership, your character, faith and family. Leaders who crash squeeze reflection time out of their life.
  • Make this the year of the grander vision. Choose an organization in your area that is doing great things and get behind them. At a certain point, mere financial success should bore you.
  • Measure the health of the culture of your organization. The culture will only be as healthy as the top leader wants it to be.
  • Do you have a personal betterment plan for your leadership in the coming year? How will you grow as a leader? Take responsibility for growing as a leader.
  • Are you leading on the home front as well as you are at work? The scorecard in people’s minds is money, but that is not what lasts.