Global Leadership Summit GroupLife Insights Day 1

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glsI had the privilege of attending the Global Leadership Summit yesterday. It’s an annual event for me and I’ve only missed a few of them since it began in 1995. If it’s not an annual event for you…it should be. The GLS is always inspiring and refreshing.

Day 1 was just another day at the GLS and featured talks by Bill Hybels, Jim Collins, Ed Catmull, Adam Grant, Dr, Brené Brown, Sallie Krawcheck, and Albert Tate.

Although every speaker had highlights, there were several that particularly pertain to small group ministry and our work as small group pastors and champions.

Here are my highlights:

Bill Hybels’ talk outlined what he referred to as the 5 intangibles of leadership. He identified them as grit, self-awareness, resourcefulness, self-sacrificing love, and a sense of meaning. His thoughts on self-sacrificing love will definitely make it into my work effective immediately.

  • Vision is not the core of the core of leadership.
  • Self-sacrificing love has always been and will always be at the absolute core of leadership.
  • Love never leaves a heart the way it found it. Love changes people.
  • Love melts people and molds people into tightly knit communities that feel more like families than work groups.

When I think about what I want to happen in the lives of the members of our life groups, there is no question that I want every one of them to know what it’s like to be loved and to learn how to love like Jesus loved. If ever there was one who practiced self-sacrificing love, it was Jesus.

Jim Collins’ talk laid out 7 questions that define our leadership:

  1. What cause do you serve with level 5 ambition?
  2. Will you settle for being a good leader or will you grow to become a great leader?
  3. How can you reframe failure as growth?
  4. How can you succeed by helping others succeed?
  5. Have you found your personal hedgehog?
  6. Will you build your unit into a pocket of greatness?
  7. How will you change the lives of others?

For me, the essence of Collins’ talk was that “level 4 leaders inspire people to follow them, but level 5 leaders inspire people to follow a cause.” I believe that is a very significant grouplife insight. Can you see it? Whatever you want to happen in the lives of the members of your groups, must happen in the life of the leader first. And if you want members to follow a cause, you will need to be recruiting high capacity (level 5) leaders as coaches and community leaders.

BrenĂ© Brown always delivers and it is always very powerful from a grouplife perspective. Yesterday’s talk was no exception and was packed with great insights into the heart of small group ministry.

The line that gripped me was this one: “The bravest among us will always be the most broken-hearted because we have the courage to love.”

Takeaway: If we we are not broken-hearted…we have probably remained aloof from the kind of authentic life-on-life that we tell everyone else they need. Life-change happens best in groups where people have the courage to love and be loved.

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