August 10, 2007
Yesterday I attended the WCA Leadership Summit. I didn’t venture to the actual Willow Creek church but volunteered at and then sat in on the satellite session at CCC. Each of the four speakers had so many powerful things to say. I heard Bill Hybels, Carly Fiorina, Floyd Flake and Marcus Buckingham.
Bill Hybels’ spoke on Vision to Die For. What impressed me most was his comparison of a Sinai approach to leadership versus a team approach. I don’t want to be a part of an organization (at work, church or in life) which has one leader casting all the vision–like Moses did when he came down the the Ten Commandments. I want to be a part of a team. The team has to buy into a vision to be willing to work on it and, if need be, die for it.
Next Hybels interviewed Carly Fiorina, the only woman ever to be CEO of a Fortune 20 company. Her book Tough Choices sounds like a must-read; it’s the story of her being fired from Hewlett-Packard after she brought it back from the brink of obsolescence. She spoke of her logic class in college where she learned “the power of the right question.” The right question forces people to learn the answer and to plumb the essence of the problem. She also said she would not allow other people’s smaller ideas of her to define who she is. And lastly, on quitting law school, she said, “I hated it. Nothing about it moved me.” I want to be like her–unafraid to take risks to find a place/a role/a life to be passionate about.
Next, Floyd Flake spoke. I didn’t hear his whole session, but his final statement, “Be the best leader you can be, so the generation of leaders to come will be even better” was incredibly motivating.
My favorite talk was Marcus’. It doesn’t hurt that he’s incredibly funny and easy on the eyes, but his take-aways were the most practical for me. I’ve read his first two books and even taken the assessment tests, but it’s time to revisit his strengths-based approach. I will definitely buy his new book. His challenge that my greatest contribution will come when I discover strengths and use them. I need to grasp that and apply it. One thing I will do that he suggested is to make a list. For an entire week, make an “I love it/I loathe it” list on which I record all my activities. Then I’ll take the top three “I love it” activities and from there write a specific strength statement: “I feel strong when I . . .”
I’m looking forward to putting those lessons to practice.