What I Learned at the Global Leadership Summit, Day 1

Each August tens of thousands of leaders gather in dozens of locations around the country to experience the Global Leadership Summit — two days of world-class leadership training. This year the Redemption Church Gateway staff is attending at the Mesa satellite location.

leadership summit

Yesterday was the first day of the Summit and it was a great learning experience.

I took tons of notes, but here are my major takeaways from each speaker.


leadership summit

I’ve been to a few Leadership Summits before. Hybels always does the opening session, and it’s always outstanding. This year was no different. In addition to the lessons below, I was most impacted by the obvious passion and heart that Hybels has. There are some big causes that he is giving his life for, and these things move him deeply.

  • Leadership demands a non-stop flow of fortitude from day 1 until the final day.
  • Old-fashioned courage and bravery correlates to every single component of leadership.
  • When God births a big vision in the heart of a leader, many leaders abort the vision secretly without telling anybody about it. They’re afraid the cost is too high.
  • Don’t go to your grave with big, cool visions dying inside you.
  • The leader’s job is to define reality.
  • Staff cultures will only ever be as healthy as the senior leader takes responsibility for them to be.
  • There comes a time when you have to stop casting vision and decide that something is an inviolable value.
  • If you lead an organization long enough, you’ll have to reinvent the organization, yourself, and your leadership approach more than once.
  • Some of God’s greatest rewards in a leader’s marathon happen late in the race.



leadership summit

You don’t become a four-star general, senior level advisor to four U.S. presidents, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, or Secretary of State if you can’t lead. Great to hear from one of our country’s finest men.

  • Get the best people you can, people you trust and trust you, and empower them to do what you’re called to do.
  • Trust is the glue that holds an organization together and the lubricant that keeps it moving forward.
  • Leadership Proverbs
    • It’ll look different in the morning.” A day can go badly, but there’s an attitude and aspiration toward things getting better. It’s not a prediction, but a mentality.
    • Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” People look to the leader for confidence and stability.
    • Get mad but then get over it.” If you act while you’re mad, you’re not at your best. You can’t stay mad or the whole organization is contaminated. It freezes the organization when leaders run around mad.
    • Tell me early.” If you know something is going wrong, let me know as soon as possible. Have to have an open enough culture where people can tell you things are going wrong.
  • You promote people on the basis of potential, not performance. Some people who perform great at one level are not going to be great at the next.



leadership summit

I’ve read a bunch of Lencioni’s books. All of them are outstanding. He’s an even better speaker. So engaging, funny, and full of great content. This talk is one he rarely gives, based on his book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job.

  • People leave a job because they’re miserable, not because it isn’t a good, well-paying job.
  • 3 things that cause job misery:
    • Anonymity: The people we work for don’t know us as people and aren’t interested in getting to know us. If your leaders don’t care about you, you won’t like your job.
    • Irrelevance: If you don’t think your job matters to somebody, in some way, you cannot love your work.
    • Immeasurement: People need to be able to assess for themselves whether they are doing a good job.

There, now you don’t need to read the book.



leadership summitI hadn’t heard of Liz Wiseman before today, but she had helpful content and was enjoyable to listen to. This talk was based on her book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.

  • There are Multipliers and Diminishers.

    • Multipliers believe that people are smart and will figure it out. As a result, the people around them perform smarter and better and the impact is multiplied.
    • Diminishers believe that nobody will figure it out without them. As a result, the people around them are disengaged and the impact is diminished.
  • Many of us are Accidental Diminishers.
  • Are you a genius or a genius maker?
Diminishers Multipliers
Empire Builder Talent Magnet
Tyrant Liberator
Know-it-all Challenger
Decision maker Debate Maker
Micromanager Investor


leadership summit

Wow. This was the most moving session by far. I’ve known of Chris Brown, one of four Senior Pastors at North Coast Church, because of one of his colleagues, Larry Osborne. But I hadn’t heard Chris speak before. He took a very familiar concept — servant leadership — and delivered it in a fresh way.

  • In the David & Goliath story, Saul is being called out for over a month. His leadership is paralyzed and everyone knows it.
  • Saul had room in the parade for David, but not room in the lead chariot.
  • Saul had the title of King, but it wasn’t his kingdom.
  • The temptation for leaders is to make it about themselves.
  • Insecure leaders have to have the title and position, but secure leaders will pick up the towel and wash their feet.
  • Servanthood isn’t for all leaders — just those who want to be great.
  • Don’t let the great things of leadership distract you from the God things.
  • Established leaders lose their best young leaders (“young eagles”) because they don’t make room for them in the nest.
  • Honestly, when forced to choose, do I expand God’s kingdom or my reputation?

One of the most moving parts of this talk was Brown’s obvious, heart-felt emotion when talking about Osborne’s humility in deferring so much leadership and platform to Brown even at the cost to his own opportunities. I’ve spent a little time with Osborne and it’s inspiring to see a leader modeling this humility.



leadership summitBob Goff is an attorney and the founder of Restore International. He was energetic and passionate, but this talk was more heat than light.

  • It’s easy to stalk Jesus — knowing a lot about him, but not knowing him.
  • Love God, love people, do stuff.
  • Live the calling you’ve received.
  • See people for who they are becoming.



leadership summit

Mark Burnett is an Emmy award winning producer of many uber-popular television shows including Survivor, The Apprentice, The Voice, and the 10-hour docudrama, The Bible. For this session, Hybels interviewed Burnett, which was a format I enjoyed.

  • NO stand for “next opportunity.”
  • “When God calls you, you actually have to get your ass off the couch and do something.”
  • Choose your companions before you choose your road.
  • The easiest thing to do is waste money.
  • “Making Christian shows or movies doesn’t give you permission to make it crappy.”

You can tell it was a full day. I’m looking forward to Day 2 and will be sure to post some highlights from that later.

Published by Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: