How Do You Measure Up to the 5 Intangibles of Leadership?

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bill hybelsIn the days and weeks following the Global Leadership Summit it’s pretty common for me to work my way back through my notes and begin reading the books I bought.

This morning I spent some time thinking about Bill Hybels’ talk. He set up his talk by pointing out that “we define leadership as moving people from here to there.” He said, “leadership is not about presiding over something, protecting a position or pontificating about how smart you are. Leadership is about movement.”

He went on to identify the 5 intangibles of leadership.

Based on a book by Ed Davis, here are the intangibles identified by Hybels:

  1. Grit: “Grit is passion and perseverance over the long haul.” “Grit can be developed, but its archenemy is ease.”  “We must assign ourselves difficult tasks to grow grit.  Gritty organizations are unstoppable.”
  2. Self-awareness: Statistics show that every leader has 3.4 blindspots. A blindspot is something someone believes they do well, but everyone else knows they do not. Who can help you become aware of your own blindspots? Your direct supervisor and everyone who works with you.
  3. Resourcefulness: Hybels pointed out that organizations that grow resourcefulness among their senior leadership teams grow 25% more than their competitors. Resourceful people are quick learners, endlessly curious, enthusiastic experimenters and collaborators.
  4. Self-sacrificing love: “Self-sacrificing love has always been and will always be at the absolute core of leadership.” “The quality of your own loving will set the tone for your whole organization.”
  5. Sense of meaning: Hybels referred to Simon Sinek’s TED talk and book Start with Why and stated that it is “absolutely essential to know and be driven by your ‘white hot why.'”

As I re-read my notes today and attempt to evaluate my own leadership I’m realizing again that I have a lot of work to do. I’m asking questions like:

  • Do I have grit? How can I grow in my own grittiness? How can I lead my team to grow in grit?
  • Am I self-aware? What are my blindspots? Who can provide the feedback I need?
  • Am I resourceful? How can I grow in resourcefulness? How can I help my team grow in resourcefulness?
  • Is self-sacrificing love a characteristic of my own leadership? Or am I really just out for myself?
  • Do I have sense-of-meaning in my leadership? Does my team know what my “white hot why” is?

What do you think?  Have something to add?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

My notes on Hybels’ session are the frantic scribbles of one desperate to glean everything possible from a powerful talk. You can find many more quotes in this post by Brian Dodd and this one at

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