Lessons from 2014 Global Leadership Summit, Day 1

Had a great day yesterday at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. It’s a fantastic event and I’m thankful for the hosts of our closest Summit location extending me an invitation and paying my way. Below are the lessons from my three favorite sessions on Day 1.

leadership summit


Lesson #1 — The spirit of the team is more important than the power of the vision.

“Your culture will only ever be as healthy as the senior leader wants it to be.”

Lesson #2 — Great leadership is, by definition, relentlessly developmental.

When is the last time you’ve assigned a young leader to an important task to test and invest in them?

Lesson #3 — You must learn to discern between hirelings and owners.

Owners will care about the culture, endure the rough patches, think about long-term financial viability, develop leaders—because they care about the long-term vision.

Lesson #4 — Endure

We get one shot at this thing called life. Our lives are the dash between the two dates on our headstone. You can live and lead small, safe, selfishly. Or you can choose to pursue a bigger vision for the good of others that leaves something beautiful behind.


#1 — Ministry isn’t the only meaningful way to impact the world.

“Your vocation can become a viable vehicle to advance the meaningful truths of live.”

#2 — I can’t claim to have God’s heart and do nothing for the least of these.

“The blessing of God is not meant to be hoarded but shared.”



Mistake #1 — Becoming a leader for the wrong reasons.

We should want to lead because we want to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others, even if we don’t know there will be a return on investment.

Mistake #2 — Failing to embrace vulnerability.

People don’t expect us to be perfect, but they do expect us to be human. You have to be more vulnerable as a pastor because the cost of people not trusting you is so high.

Mistake #3 — Making leadership too important.

Our identity can get wrapped up in being a leader and overshadow who we really are.

At the center of these dangerous mistakes is PRIDE.

Which of these lessons is the most intriguing for you?


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. In July of 2006, we welcomed a baby girl, Abby, into our family.

2 thoughts on “Lessons from 2014 Global Leadership Summit, Day 1”

    1. That wasn’t really discussed. Good question, though. The context of this discussion was high level leaders that are shaping the direction of an organization for the long haul.

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