Ron's Material Leadership Blog

It is my sincerest hope that the stories I share are helpful to others. I have experienced first hand that many people toil in obscurity, searching for answers, ashamed to reach out and ask for help. This blog will contain experiences and wisdom that I have gained over the years that I hope will offer guidance in dealing with some of life's challenges.

Why the name material leadership? If you are curious the answer is on my website.
The link on the side bar.

Lead well


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Special report: LEAD: from where you are

The 2007 Leadership Summit (click the link)

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the 12th annual Leadership Summit hosted by Willow Creek Church in Illinois. I attended via a satellite site in Alta Loma CA. This is my third summit and as always I came away a better leader for attending. In 2005 when I first attended I was taken by the thought that over 25,000 Christian leaders were getting together worshiping and learning how to lead better. My previous post “Are you a leader?” was birthed at the 05 summit when Pastor Hybels asked that haunting question, “What wrecks you?”

The 06 summit was good but I was not fully engaged, I was distracted the entire summit by work concerns. The speakers were awesome the interviews great. Bono from U2 (my favorite band) made a guest appearance and challenged the church to pick up its game on famine in Africa. Over 50,000 leaders took part in that summit.

This year nearly 100,000 Christian leaders from all over the globe took part in the summit. Going into this event I resolved to be present and undistracted. I wanted to ensure I extracted every ounce of value from this excellent line up of speakers. Marcus Buckingham was stunning. His humor was understated and hilarious his content meaningful. Jimmy Carter was poignant and reflective of his career and leadership record. He enjoyed laughing at the way in which people try to honor him for what he did after the presidency. He of course thought he did a good job as president. Carly Fiorina was elegant and candid, and she oozed integrity. I would really like to work for her if she takes on another corporate role.

I found myself in many other talks focusing in on delivery and presentation style. Bill Hybels second talk on inspirational leadership hit the mark throughout. A couple of others left me irritated and quietly wishing the next break would arrive a little bit earlier. Pastor Hybels first talk on vision casting also hit the mark for me. He described in detail the steps he uses to build consensus and broad based support. This was a wonderful follow up to his 05 talk on what wrecks you.

I love these summits because they cross two of my most important values faith and learning (not to mention leadership development). There just are not enough events like this one where you can praise your creator, pray for direction and learn how to engage your followers all in the same day.

Take Aways

Pastor Hybels talk on inspiration left me feeling tingly. He challenged us that if we did not know what our leadership Kingdom purpose was, we should clear our calendars and spend significant time in prayer seeking the Lord’s will and our calling. I had been doing this for the past several weeks so the advice resonated with me. In the coming weeks I had planned to transition the content of my Material Leadership blog from leadership values toward leadership purpose. Don’t you love it when “coincidences” happen?

There were many moments during the conference when something I had written in this blog or a topic I had recently prayed about was stressed by a presenter. It was as if where I had been the past few months was being played back for me, almost an affirmation of the journey. Keep it up you are on the right track.

Ya I love it when God is in the details working his plan showing the way.

Lead well


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Thoughts on a Recent Read

The Dip by Seth Godin

This was the first of Mr. Godin’s books I have read and I must say it will not be the last. I enjoyed this book and found its message wise and on point for our age. The premise of the book is that there is a time to quit a role, project, effort and a time to stay. When we have the opportunity to be the very best and are willing to pay the price, it is time to stay. When it is clear that staying will result in mediocrity or worse yet (Mr. Godin’s term for a dead end) a cul-de-sac, it is time to move on to something where we can be our best. The dip is the place in between. The place where we face opposition, adversity and discouragement. It is here that many wrongly chose to give up when greatness is not that far away for the brave souls who persevere.

Complexity: Low

Length: Short

Compelling: Very much

Worthwhile: Definitely