Leadership Summit Day 1
This year the Leadership Conference was hosted at the Willow Creek Campus in South Barrington, Illinois with a total attendance of more than 40,000 people in over 80+ cities leveraging satellite technology for the broadcast. The Willow Creek Association (WCA) partnered with local WCA churches throughout the country to broadcast the conference too. This is where I found myself, surrounded by nearly 600 other leaders in a local church in the Dallas area. With much anticipation the conference was kicked off via Satellite without a hitch. The day 1 speakers were stellar. What would you expect with a lineup of Bill Hybels, Pat Summitt, and Bishop TD Jakes. Bill, in his Hybels-like way shared his passionate vision for the local church through his first two sessions. His first session was a talk entitled 'The Leaders' Finest Hour". Here, Hybels shared great leadership principals wrapped around his personal "challenge spikes" through his 3 decades of leading Willow. Hybels combined hard hitting principals with compassionate tones to leave you with this... "Leaders have to do what leadership requires." Hybels also lead session 2 with a vision talk on church volunteerism.
Next, Pat Summitt, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, took the stage. Pat is a very commanding speaker and leader and discussed her leadership over the last 30 years. Her talk was entitled "The Definite Dozen", Pat's formula for success. Following Hybels is not the easiest thing to do for any speaker, but Pat was good. She focused on the importance of relationships and flat out hard work. The take away from Pat was... "Know your people."
Finally, it was time. TD time. Personally, this is what I had been waiting for all day. For those of you who don't know TD let me tell you, the Bishop in my opinion, is one of the greatest communicators! TD has great command, and like know one else can read and play to his audience. I was not let down! As Hybels was introducing Jakes the only thing that I could think about was how long would it be until he had us touching our neighbors and telling them something (if you didn't get that you don't watch him on TBN). Again, I was not disappointed. 25 seconds into the talk we pinched our neighbor, and about 10 minutes in he did the GET READY, GET READY, GET READY! He rocked. His talk was entitled "Exceptional Leadership at Every Level", and he delivered the goods. He looked at Moses in Exodus 17:5-9 and talked about 3 courses of leadership. Jakes communicated with passion, excitement and energy and left me with so much that I can not narrow it down to one sentence. However, here are some great one liners: The change begins with you in every leadership situation. Leave room to be wrong as a leader. Good leadership anticipates problems and creates solutions. (That is how you got Saved!) You can not fight todays problems with yesterdays weapons. Every new level brings a new devil. The closer: If you always do what you have always done, you will always be where you've always been!