Thursday, September 2, 2010

2010 Global Leadership Summit Review

I am on a plane, having attended a couple of jam-packed days at the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in Chicago. I don't plan to pay for the food on offer, not because my Greek blood objects to paying extra for a service once delivered free, but because I feel bloated from eating so many American style ribs over the last week. Therefore, I have plenty of time to write this review.

On the evening before the conference began I attended a reception of international guests. Bill Hybels welcomed us in the 7,500 seats auditorium, and spoke to us about his dream for the Summit. He wants to change the world, by changing thousands of churches and ministry organisations around the globe, through the development of leaders. I was again reminded that we are saved for a purpose beyond our own salvation! That is, to work towards the salvation of others.

One of a number of highlights was Blake Mycoskie of TOMS. His for-profit company gives one pair of canvas shoes away to a child in a poor country, for every pair of shoes sold. He taught us that giving feels good but is also a good business strategy. If we focus on giving, the customers do the marketing. When people start to serve they quickly forget their own problems.

Business guru Jack Welsh, who is now attending his local church, challenged us to get rid of cynics and develop a culture of candor in our organisations and churches. His comments were controversial, but widely respected.

Throughout the conference we heard many other world class experts in several fields inspire us to excel in our leadership. I did not agree with everything that was taught, but it did sharpen me as a leader.

I have come back home with ideas to put into immediate practice, some principles to do more thinking and reading about, and a renewed desire to keep ploughing the hard and sometimes rough yards of ministry in the name of Jesus.

It would be better if the same quantity of content was delivered over a longer three day conference, rather than two, with time to reflect, discuss among teams, and make action plans.

I valued traveling to the conference with colleagues. We were able to discuss what had touched us during the day and then stretch each other as leaders. Eating plenty of baby back ribs was a necessary part of these discussions. Now for a much stricter diet and exercise program, to get rid of that tyre around my waist ...

Zac Veron
CEO, Anglican Youthworks
Author of Leadership on the Front Foot

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