Last week I attended the Global Leadership Summit and got to hear from some great leaders and thinkers including Jim Collins, Dan Pink, Tony Dungy and Jack Welch to name a few. Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church and founder of the summit, opened the event with a story about a time recently when he was feeling discouraged as a leader and questioned whether he really knew anything about leadership.
Going back to the basics he slowly reassured himself that he did know a few things about the subject. Here are three things he shared from what he’s learned during his 35 years leading one of the largest and most influential churches in America:
1. Leaders move people from HERE to THERE. This simple truth is not in and of itself revolutionary. However, here’s the key insight: the first step in moving people isn’t telling them how wonderful THERE will be – if you do that first, you’ll always have some people who’ll say, “well, that sounds great and all, but we like it HERE. And we’re not moving.” The first step should be to tell people how awful it is HERE. Help them believe that they cannot stay HERE, then show them how great THERE will be.
2. It Takes Fantastic People. Hybels recommends considering all your people and asking the question, “How would we react if this person told us they were leaving.” Separate each person into one of three responses:
- “Phew!” – We wouldn’t really miss them and honestly the team will operate better.
- “Ugh.” – That’s a key position, now we’re going to have to find someone to replace her.
- “Vomit!” – This person is all but irreplaceable! What can we do to keep them!?!
Next, he suggests you talk with people in the first group and see if you can find them a better fit somewhere else. Finally you talk to individuals in the last group and you let them know that you consider them fantastic and invaluable to your organization. Keep an open dialogue and make sure they feel free to share any frustrations that may come up.
3. Mile-markers & Celebrations. The hardest part of the journey between HERE and THERE isn’t right after you get started or when you’re almost there, it’s in the middle. That’s where vision leaks and people lose hope. This is the critical leg of the journey. Find something to celebrate your progress – any progress. You must work to renew their sense of hope that they really are going to get there some day.
What do you think of his points?
What are a few things you know about leadership?