Lessons from this year’s GLS (part 1)

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The Global Leadership Summit rolled into a town near us (via DVD) a couple of weeks back, and, as usual it was a good mix of stimulating thoughts on how to lead better. A couple of talks were particularly enjoyable from my perspective, and I’ll give you the highlights from the first here:

Session 1 – Bill Hybels . . . “Leadership Intangibles”

– leadership is not about presiding or protecting, but leading people forward
– humility crucial to learning leadership from others . . . here’s Bill’s 5 ‘intangibles’ of leadership . . .

1. Grit . . . Predictor of success not just IQ, but a steely determination. Gritters aren’t quitters. Great leaders have the ability to persevere in unfavourable circumstances. [not sure I entirely agreed with this point, but thought provoking nonetheless]

2. Self-awareness . . . crucial to being aware of our own strengths, weaknesses etc. and therefore how to improve, and where to staff. Be aware of the formative power of upbringing; we need help from others with our blindspots . . . Need to solicit honest feedback from lots of people. It’ll be painful but worth it.

3. Resourcefulness . . . Quick learners, curious, ‘learning agility.’ Great leaders tend to be great readers – thinkers, creative problem solvers etc.

4. Selfsacrificing love . . . Deep personal concern for your people (Bill shared some thoughts from 2 Sam 21-23). Do workers feel deep personal love and concern coming from their managers? Love never fails (1 Cor 13:8). Love creates a high performance culture. Starts with senior leader. Of all these 5 qualities this is the most important.

5. Create a sense of meaning/purpose . . . What, how, why – in ever narrowing concentric circles. Getting people to answer the what and the how in light of the why engenders a sense of meaning. You need a ‘white hot why.’

There were many other useful insights. You can track down the talks online – a worthwhile exercise to do with a team. What do you think? What’s he missed? What should be added/subtracted/corrected?

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