I recently attended the 2017 Global Leadership Summit put on by Bill Hybels and his Willow Creek organization. It was an amazing leadership training event that was attended by over 400,000 people through a global simulcast!
The speakers were amazing and the entertainment between speakers was world class.
What follows are the top one-line lessons from the two day event.
50 Leadership Lessons From the 2017 GLS
Leaders of successful businesses foster innovative work environments where their employees are able to creatively apply their knowledge and strengths to solve their customers’ problems. This sort of work environment is motivating for employees, results in happy, repeat customers that are happy to pay for your services and products. It is a win-win-win for everyone.
Back in the early 90’s I worked for a consulting company that had this mindset. Employees were encouraged to work with customers to identify areas in their businesses that could be improved. We then proposed a number of solutions to deal with these improvement opportunities and the customers would hire us to implement them.
If you are like most people, ambiguity is extremely uncomfortable and is something to be avoided whenever possible. Most of us find the lack of definition and lack of boundaries associated with ambiguity a little scary so we attempt to get definitions and boundaries set as quickly as possible. This reduces our personal stress level but it may not result in an optimal solution or situation.
For other people, ambiguity is something that can be manipulated to avoid facing reality or to float through their career without accountability or deliverables. This sort of behavior is obviously unproductive and should be avoided.
For a third group of people, ambiguity is used as a productivity tool. They use ambiguity to help them consider all aspects, perspectives and components of an issue without being tied to any one viewpoint. They are able to objectively evaluate disparate positions or solutions without bias and select the best solution possible.
Are you a divergent thinker? Most of us have heard of the movie “Divergent” which was released in 2014. It is about a girl (played by Shailene Woodley) who grew up in a post apocalyptic world that was segregated into five factions. Each faction had a distinct role to fill in the “new world” and everyone in each faction was expected to think and act in accordance with the mission of their faction. Those who could not fit into one of the factions were homeless, lived on the street and called factionless.
Every year the kids who were turning 18 had to take a test that determined their mindset and selected their faction for life. This faction could be the one they grew up in or it could be one of the other four. If it was a different faction than they grew up in, they would have to leave their family and everything they had known and move in with the new faction. No cross-faction citizenship was allowed.
Although this system appeared to result in a very orderly and focused society, it was obviously very closed minded and limiting. It did not allow for much in the way of free thinking or creativity.
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Albert Von Szent-Gyorgyi Nagyrapolt
This is a profound statement with profound implications. Seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought! Think of the impact you could have in the world if you were to able to see the same problems that confront all of us but you were able to think about them differently and propose unique and innovative solutions.
Does this seem too far fetched for you….too much of a stretch? I don’t think so! I think each of us has an opportunity to think creatively and uniquely about problems we face each day.
We all approach life’s challenges based on our unique perception of the world. To think creatively, just step away from the status quo, leverage your unique perspective and start asking questions about the challenges at hand. Follow these steps and see where it leads you: